Mexico, as a country, is no stranger to violence. Built on a history of tutelage and a fight for freedom, Mexico’s history is one of bloodshed. In recent years, several studies have been written about the modern plague of violence found throughout Mexico, such as Oswaldo Zavala’s Drug Cartels Do Not Exist (2022) or Sophie Esch’s Modernity at Gunpoint (2018). In Unlawful Violence, Rebecca Janzen undertakes the task of documenting the intersection of Mexico’s complex economic development and the widespread violence that has become an inevitable reality for citizens and tourists alike across the country. Janzen points toward twenty-first-century Mexican laws implemented to protect citizens as ineffective. Hence, the term unlawful violence is used to represent the systemic violence and shortcomings of the Mexican government. The critic uses an interdisciplinary approach to her work by comparing legal, literary, and historical texts to address the phenomenon of violence and...

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