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The lines between race, capital and state violence in Puerto Rico.


These punitive solutions are the only thing on offer, but they don't really result in a decrease in levels of crime or make people feel that much safer - but they do project a very strong image of the state, that it's capable and that it's doing something. That image of a strong, capable state is part of what the Puerto Rican government is trying to project in the face of a colonial and capitalist relationship that in many ways hobbled it, made it incapable of actually addressing the things that made people feel insecure in their communities, everyday.

Latina/o Studies scholar Marisol LeBrón explores the rise of punitive governance in Puerto Rico - as social and material inequality deepen under the colonial burden, the hobbled client state turns to imposing order on a disorded society through increased surveillance and police violence, the only tools it has left to solve problems.

Marisol is author of the new book Policing Life and Death: Race, Violence, and Resistance in Puerto Rico from University of California Press.

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Marisol LeBrón

Marisol LeBrón is Assistant Professor in the Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies at the University of Texas at Austin and co-founder of Puerto Rico Syllabus.


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