A will to escape organizes the practice of Latin American Christian liberation while at the same time enacting a new genre of captivity. After a shift in US interdiction efforts, the vast majority of cocaine produced in the Andes for the United States now passes through Guatemala. With this drastic increase has come a spike in the use of crack cocaine, as well as the proliferation of drug rehabilitation centers. Run by Pentecostal Christians, these centers warehouse users (against their will) in the name of liberation. Locked up, tied up, and told to shape up, these users confess, at times plead, that they want out and they want it now. Pastors, in response, assure them that captivity is itself liberation—that slavery is salvation. This will to escape provokes a pair of guiding questions. They are, at their most philosophical: How do openings become enclosures? How do lines of flight become absolute dead ends?
Kevin Lewis O’Neill; On Liberation: Crack, Christianity, and Captivity in Postwar Guatemala City. Social Text 1 September 2014; 32 (3 (120)): 11–28. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/01642472-2703833
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