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Violence, Coercion, and State-Making in Twentieth-Century MexicoThe Other Half of the Centaur$
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Wil G. Pansters

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780804781589

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804781589.001.0001

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Policing New Illegalities

Policing New Illegalities

Piracy, Raids, and Madrinas

(p.159) Chapter Seven Policing New Illegalities
Violence, Coercion, and State-Making in Twentieth-Century Mexico
José Carlos G. Aguiar
Stanford University Press

In the 1980s, markets and street commerce in Mexico began to peddle copyright-protected material such as music and films. To eradicate this new form of illegality, Mexican president Vicente Fox (2000–2006) launched a war on piracy anchored on a number of policies and constitutional reforms. As part of this campaign, the Mexican police conducted raids on piracy retail while the government declared the sale of bootlegged goods as a federal crime and infringements of intellectual property as organized crime. Drawing on interviews with informants, this chapter examines a number of anti-piracy raids carried out in the San Juan de Dios market, located in the metropolitan area of Guadalajara. In particular, it investigates the ambiguous accommodations that emerge from the interaction between policing agents like the federal police, and informal actors such as market sellers. It explores the behavior of structured protocols and agents such as madrinas (information traders) and pitazos (lookouts, warnings). The chapter shows that the definition of new forms of illegality in the context of global neoliberalism reflects the political skewness between regions.

Keywords:   illegality, war on piracy, raids, crime, intellectual property, San Juan de Dios, federal police, madrinas, neoliberalism

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