Furrows and Walls, or the Legal Topography of a Frontier Road in Peru

During the 1980s and 1990s, Peru's Marginal Highway became the target of two inextricable conflicts: a bitter counter-insurgency war with the Maoist Shining Path and a US-sponsored effort to suppress a cocaine boom. This essay considers how attempts to transform the material surface of the highway altered the road's orientation while asserting claims of territorial sovereignty and shaping the kinds of publics brought together. Furrows and walls each expressed singular points around which accounts of regional history would be told. Yet, it was their robust materiality that enabled distinct kinds of encounters, many of them violent: not only collisions but ambushes, confiscations, and executions. Focusing on the surface disruptions of the road, the authors suggests, offers a ready means for examining highway events as well as their relationship to the lived topographies of law in state frontiers.


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  • Accession Number: 01499201
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 31 2013 4:17PM