Martha Balaguera

Assistant Professor Martha Balaguera Cuervo

Focus: migrations and social movements in Central America, Mexico and the United States

Professor Balaguera grew up in Bogota, Colombia, where she first became interested in the ways that civil society shaped the public debate on the negotiated solution to the armed conflict. This spurred on her broader interests on collective political struggles in violent contexts, which she has addressed in her research on migrations and social movements in Central America, Mexico and the United States. Transnational feminisms and critical approaches to the carceral society are also a central part of her intellectual agenda.

In her new project, Professor Balaguera focuses on Central Americans' asylum claims in Mexico and the United States. She looks at how networks of legal accompaniment and refugees themselves, including LGBTQ asylum seekers, are shaping international asylum law and contesting the detention-deportation regime at the US-Mexico border.

Professor Balaguera is also part of the Colectiva Protesta, an inter-institutional, inter-disciplinary, and international feminist collaboration focused on activism in Latin America that includes scholars from Chile, Brazil, the US and Canada.

You can read more of Professor Balaguera’s work in publications such as “Trans-migrations: agency and confinement at the limits of sovereignty” published in 2018 in a special issue of Journal of Women in Culture and Society titled “Displacement.” Or you can check out her short article “‘Would you come with me to the line?’: Lawfare and legal accompaniment at the US-Mexico Border” in a 2020 review series titled “Speaking Justice to Power: Gender Politics in the Age of Patriarchal Authoritarianism.”

Outside of academia, Professor Balaguera is doing all sorts of fun things to keep learning about Canada and pass time during the pandemic like eating well, connecting with old friends, and creating new rituals with her family.