From securitisation to martialisation : logistics of humanitarian protection in Brazil’s Amazon

Portes Virginio, Francis and Garvey, Brian and Stewart, Paul (2024) From securitisation to martialisation : logistics of humanitarian protection in Brazil’s Amazon. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. ISSN 0263-7758 (

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The association between logistics and militarised humanitarianism is expanding as a strategy for managing migrants' productive and reproductive lives. In Brazil, despite a progressive humanitarian visa policy, the national army remains responsible for the logistics of a severely underfunded humanitarian operation in Brazil’s Amazon. This study, based on participatory action research with 300 migrants, introduces the notion of martialisation to show political and socioeconomic dimensions that are juxtaposed in the military logistics of humanitarian zones and subsequently experienced as a dominant structuring process of exploitation. These are securitization of migration linked to at once the deepening of market liberalism and the normalisation of military intervention within productive and reproductive processes. Findings show that the military leadership in Brazil’s humanitarian response reveals a multi-scalar phenomenon of military rule that contributes to sustaining the repressive labour regime in Brazil’s Amazon. It articulates the structures of labour subordination with the micromanagement of reproductive measures by which migrants are controlled, exploited, and dispossessed of their rights. The conclusion makes the case for the collective organization of migrants in pursuit of transformative action.