Pablo Piccato has written a remarkable book. It develops a refreshing analytical and historical perspective on Mexico's fundamental dilemmas concerning the rule of law. The central focus is on the nexus of crime, truth, and justice and, more importantly, on how this nexus broke down in the first half of the twentieth century. As a result and in the face of new forms of urban crime and violence, a whole range of actors and institutions engage in manifold ways to restore a sense of connection among the three.

Piccato's perspective is critical of state-centered approaches; hence the book examines a wide range of meanings and narratives produced by actors outside the state, including popular juries (jurados populares), nota roja journalists and readers (in the first section of the book), detectives, murderers, and pistoleros (in the second section), and crime fiction...

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