chapter  7
The Everywhere Drug War
Narcoterror and the Global Flows of the Methamphetamine Imaginary
WithTravis Linnemann, Kyra Martinez
Pages 14

This chapter analyzes the panic over methamphetamine as it supposedly shifted from Midwestern to Mexican in origin, aggregating fears of drug traffickers and terrorists into “narcoterror,” a conceptual tangle that conflates “terrorists” and drug traffickers, projects the use of “terror” by drug trafficking groups, overstates the importance of the drug trade in funding terrorist activities, and diverts attention from broader systems of corruption and state-sponsored violence. The chapter maps this “methamphetamine imaginary” as well as the broader drug war imaginary from which it emerges, tracing the institutionalized flow of insecurity conditioned by the unknown, uncertain, and unexpected while offering a corrective to the episodic moral panics model. For rather than intermittent, panics are now constant, as epitomized by the methamphetamine imaginary that flows perpetually in the increasingly securitized background of everyday life. This chapter highlights the routinized background of insecurity that sustains broader systems of violence and dispossession, rendering livable the everywhere drug war.