Creating a culture of violence: American discourses of rape, murder and “Mexican-ness” from the Mexican revolution (1910-1920) to Ciudad Juarez and Chihuahua (1993-2007)

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(Project) M.A.
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Reported on and judged by American citizens and government officials, American eyes have viewed violence against women in northern Mexico as specifically “Mexican” events. This paper juxtaposes American discourse from the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920) with United States Department of State human rights reports from 1999 to 2007 to demonstrate similarities, differences and continuities in the discussion of sexual violence within these two time periods that connect American views of Mexican violence against women in Mexico to Mexican “culture.” While the mode of representation moves from a racial argument of inherent “Mexican” violence to an argument of a culture of violence, discourse from both time periods work to construct the image of a barbaric and chaotic Mexico, furthering the divide between “Mexican” and “American” within the border zone. The border itself is integral within this context as it stands as the physical and mental barrier between what constitutes “Mexican” and “American.”
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