The Mexico–Guatemala Border During COVID-19: From Open Border to New Assemblage?

  • Edith Kauffer Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social (CIESAS)-Sureste


The dynamics at the Mexican–Guatemalan border drastically changed from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper deals with these transformations and tries to evidence a new assemblage that has resulted. The rationale that prevailed until the beginning of 2020 between Mexico and Guatemala was a south-north selective open border derived from migratory controls applied to travelers according to their citizenship and their US or Canadian migratory status. From March until October, 2020 the pandemic gave birth to a new north-south rationale organized around a selective closure: the Guatemalan border was totally closed except to Guatemalans that were allowed to return to their country. On the Mexican side, communitarian, municipal, and local boundaries were established to curb the spread of COVID-19.