Reconsidering the marielito legacy: Race/ethnicity, nativity, and homicide motives

Ramiro Martinez, Amie L. Nielsen, Matthew T. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Objective. This article investigates how race/ethnicity is associated with specific types of violent crime such as killings between intimates, robbery homicide, or drug-related killings. We extend the study of the role of race and ethnicity for violence by examining five ethnic/immigrant groups, including the Mariel Cubans - a group singled out by many as particularly drug-crime-prone. Methods. Using 1980 through 1990 homicide data for the City of Miami, we use multinomial logistic regression to examine the association between race/ethnicity, nativity, and several types of homicide motives. Results. Contrary to popular expectations, ethnicity and immigration status rarely play a role in the types of homicide involvement of victims or violators. Incident characteristics, such as multiple offenders, or gender and age, were consistently more important influences in shaping homicide circumstances. Conclusions. The analyses revealed few significant relationships between immigration status and homicide motives, suggesting that immigrant groups like the Marielitos have more in common with native groups' experiences of criminal violence than is commonly assumed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)397-411
Number of pages15
JournalSocial Science Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Reconsidering the marielito legacy: Race/ethnicity, nativity, and homicide motives'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this