Publication Date

2018

Journal

Journal of Latin American Geography

Volume

17

Issue

1

First Page

139

Last Page

165

Department

Sociology & Anthropology

Abstract

Migration and remittances are increasingly central to development plans and the search for best practices has driven convergence of diaspora development policies. Mexico is often considered a model, particularly its Tres Por Uno or 3×1 Program that offers matching grants to encourage migrant organizations to sponsor development projects in their origin communities. We employ a policy mobilities framework to ask how this program has been positioned as a model and exported from its original contexts. With replication in other high emigration countries possible, we examine internal replication within Mexico to evaluate the model’s possible external relevance. We focus on its re-grounding in Yucatán, a new sending state with low intensity and short history of migration by Mexican standards. Despite the non-traditional context, the state has rapidly embraced the migrant-centered 3×1 Program. We find that the program initially followed expectations in Yucatán, but within a few years devolved into a pattern of “simulation”/aval projects that are controlled by municipal officials and minimize migrant involvement. Without effective counter-pressures from migrant organizations, corruption and clientelism became common. We conclude that implementation in a very distinct context mainstreamed and normalized problems that had been present but marginal in the original contexts.

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