City of Suspects: Crime in Mexico City, 1900–1931
In City of Suspects Pablo Piccato explores the multiple dimensions of crime in early-twentieth-century Mexico City. Basing his research on previously untapped judicial sources, prisoners’ letters, criminological studies, quantitative data, newspapers, and political archives, Piccato examines the paradoxes of repressive policies toward crime, the impact of social rebellion on patterns of common crime, and the role of urban communities in dealing with transgression on the margins of the judical system.
By investigating postrevolutionary examples of corruption and organized crime, Piccato shines light on the historical foundations of a social problem that remains the main concern of Mexico City today. Emphasizing the social construction of crime and the way it was interpreted within the moral economy of the urban poor, he describes the capital city during the early twentieth century as a contested territory in which a growing population of urban poor had to negotiate the use of public spaces with more powerful citizens and the police. Probing official discourse on deviance, Piccato reveals how the nineteenth-century rise of positivist criminology—which asserted that criminals could be readily distinguished from the normal population based on psychological and physical traits—was used to lend scientific legitimacy to class stratifications and to criminalize working-class culture. Furthermore, he argues, the authorities’ emphasis on punishment, isolation, and stigmatization effectively created cadres of professional criminals, reshaping crime into a more dangerous problem for all inhabitants of the capital.
This unique investigation into crime in Mexico City will interest Latin Americanists, sociologists, and historians of twentieth-century Mexican history.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
The Modern City
The Policed City
The Construction of Mexican Criminology
Honor and Violent Crime
Violence Against Women
Money Crime and Social Reactions to Larceny
Other editions - View all
accused alcohol Antonio Archivo Arnulfo arrested authorities Battery Belem Belem jail capital Carlota City Council ciudad de Mexico classes Codigo colonial crime crime in Mexico criminal criminales criminalidad criminology cultural Diaz Distrito Federal domestic workers El Imparcial El Universal elite Estadistica Estudios Federal District fight Fondo Gaceta de Policia Garcia gendarmes Gonzalez Guerrero History homicide honor ibid Imparcial inmates Islas Marias Jose judge judicial Justicia lower-class Luis Manuel Maria Martinez Mexican Mexico City Mexico Mexico City Miguel Macedo modern Nacional Obregon offenders official Penal Code penitentiary percent Perez pesos policemen political population Porfirian Porfiriato Porfirio Diaz President prisoners pulque pulquerias punishment rateros reform Republica Mexicana Revolution revolutionary Rodriguez Secretaria de Fomento sentenced sexual siglo social society statutory rape streets suspects Tepito theft thieves tion Trejo University Press urban poor vecindad Venustiano Carranza victims violence Voz de Mexico women workers Zapatista