“Como un ángel o un fantasma”: Ghost Smuggling Ballads, Hauntology, and the Undocumented Migrant Experience

Teresita Lozano (University of Texas Rio Grande Valley)

Since the early 2000s, a phenomenon of Mexican corrido (ballad) composition, which I define as ghost smuggling ballads, shares a collective ghost story within the migrant community. Rooted in inherited memory of religious persecution and resistance, these corridos narrate transborder encounters with Saint Toribio Romo, an apparition who smuggles migrants across the U.S.-Mexico border. Saint Toribio, also called the Holy Coyote (Smuggler), was a priest killed in Jalisco in 1928 during La Cristiada. Inspired by Derrida’s concept of “hauntology” (1993), I explore how these corridos transcend temporal and physical boundaries, marked by multiple hauntings that inform the contemporary migrant journey.

Part of 04-05 Roots and Routes: Political and Cultural Borders in Latin American Music-Making, Friday, November 03, 8:30 am–10:00 am