Gloria C. Pérez-Rivera
Gloria C. Pérez-Rivera is a PhD Candidate in Anthropology at Vanderbilt University. She was trained as a physician in Colombia and practiced for ten years before moving to North America, where she earned a B.A. in sociocultural anthropology from UTSC and an M.A. in medical anthropology from the University of Toronto, St. George. Gloria’s doctoral research focuses on relations of credit and debt in the lives of people internally displaced during the Colombian conflict from rural regions to cities. This work examines how the urban peripheries where displaced people settle constitute financial frontiers where poor people become entangled in relations of debt and credit with predatory illicit narco-paramilitary moneylenders and licit financial institutions. While both illicit and licit sources of credit are exploitative, the cash that narco-paramilitary money lenders provide allows thousands of people to work in informal economies and to subsist. Exploring these complexities ethnographically, Gloria’s research traces credit and debt relations through histories of paramilitarism, leftist guerrillas insurgencies, and state violence, drug trafficking, and money laundering to show how conflict-driven class reconfigurations and systematic land dispossession create the conditions for capital accumulation through financialization of poor populations.