Date of Graduation

Spring 5-21-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Migration Studies


Migration Studies

First Advisor

Karina Hodoyan


The purpose of this study is to analyze the forms of state and non-state violence that migrant women1 from the Northern Triangle of Central America experience during their migration into Mexico and the role of Albergue Abba in Celaya, Guanajuato in their transit. As migrant women venture northward, they are vulnerable to being coerced and kidnapped while encountering gender-based violence, including rape, sexual assault, and human trafficking. While migrants suffer a multiplicity of violence in this region, this research will focus on the role of smuggling and human trafficking in order to better understand the vulnerabilities women migrants experience in their transit. Analyzing 2019 current data from Albergue Abba, REDODEM, and testimonials from other migrant shelters, I identify the role of state and non-state actors in contributing to gendered violence and the ways that migrant shelters, such as Albergue Abba, respond to these threats. By looking at Albergue Abba as a case study, my work seeks to address broader questions: how do migrant shelters respond to the multiplicities of violence that target migrant women? Also, how are institutions susceptible to being part of that violence? Findings reveal that the violence embedded in smuggling and trafficking are the most dangerous elements in their transit. Both affect the experiences of Central American migrant women and their journey through Mexico. At the same time, while migrant shelters are spaces where migrants seek refuge and help, these spaces are also vulnerable to infiltration. My aim is two-fold, to contribute to the debate defined by Laurie Cook Heffron on the multiple "interconnecting categories of violence, "2 drawing from the migration-violence nexus theory3. As well as analyze the position of community organizations within the landscape of violence and their strategies at responding to inside and outside threats. My work hopes to contribute to the security of all migrants and service workers in the region.