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Making Things Stick

Making Things Stick: Surveillance Technologies and Mexico's War on Crime OPEN ACCESS

Keith Guzik
Copyright Date: 2016
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  • Book Info
    Making Things Stick
    Book Description:

    With Mexico's War on Crime as the backdrop,Making Things Stickoffers an innovative analysis of how surveillance technologies impact governance in the global society. More than just tools to monitor ordinary people, surveillance technologies are imagined by government officials as a way to reform the national state by focusing on the material things - cellular phones, automobiles, human bodies - that can enable crime. In describing the challenges that the Mexican government has encountered in implementing this novel approach to social control, Keith Guzik presents surveillance technologies as a sign of state weakness rather than strength and as an opportunity for civic engagement rather than retreat.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-95970-5
    Subjects: Sociology
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Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. 1-25)

    Mexico’s Federal Police Intelligence Center (CIPF) was inaugurated on November 24, 2009, in a ceremony attended by President Felipe Calderón and Secretary of Public Security Genaro García Luna. The CIPF, a subterranean structure colloquially known as El Bunker, serves as the command center for the federal government’s War on Crime.aIt houses Plataforma México, a network of advanced telecommunication and information technologies receiving data from over six hundred state and municipal offices; 169 federal police stations; the national registries of people, vehicles, criminal records, fingerprints, and ballistics; and video cameras located throughout the country, including those at the Basilica of...

  2. (pp. 26-55)

    Mexico’s first Citizen Identity Card (CEDI) was issued on January 24, 2011, to Leslie García Rodríguez, an eleven-year-old student at the Miguel Hidalgo Elementary School in Tijuana, Mexico. To mark the event, an energetic crowd assembled outside the school—named for the revolutionary priest whose call for independence from Spain two hundred years earlier had given birth to the Mexican independence movement. One by one, students, teachers, civic activists, and public officials took to the microphone to extoll the virtues of the identity card. By housing young people’s biometric identifiers—iris scans, fingerprints of all ten fingers, and a photograph...

  3. (pp. 56-98)

    One of the most successful films of the Mexican silent era premiered on December 11, 1919, at twenty movie houses in Mexico City.El automóvil gris(The gray automobile) depicted the story of the Gray Automobile Gang, a group of prison escapees who terrorized Mexico City’s elite at the height of the Mexican Revolution in 1915 by donning uniforms of the Constitutionalist Army and serving false search warrants to rob people’s homes. Originally twelve episodes, the shortened version of the film that survives today is split evenly between dramatizing the gang’s various robberies, kidnappings, and murders and its eventual apprehension...

  4. (pp. 99-140)

    On April 10, 2010, an important deadline loomed for mobile telephone users in Mexico. By this date, cell users needed to register their phone lines with the government’s National Registry of Mobile Telephone Users (RENAUT) or risk termination of service.¹ Users could register in one of two ways: by sending a text message to the number 2877 with the word “ALTA” (Spanish for “subscribe”), together with their name and date of birth or their Unique Population Registry Code (CURP); or by going to a service provider to have their data recorded.² Registrations at service centers would also record user fingerprints...

  5. (pp. 141-176)

    During December 2013, an odd daily ritual took shape at the Public Registry of Vehicles (REPUVE) installation at the old Santa Rita market in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua. Each morning, dozens of local residents lined up in hopes of securing a REPUVE chip before the end of the year. As the days passed, and demand for the chip increased, the lines grew longer, and arriving early in the morning to queue for the radio-frequency identification (RFID) tag no longer sufficed. Residents began camping for nights at a time in freezing temperatures and without toilet facilities for a chance to join the...

  6. (pp. 177-206)

    Having left office at the end of 2012, Felipe Calderón and his crusade against insecurity have passed from the public stage in Mexico. But the problem of insecurity has not. During his campaign and first years in office, Enrique Peña Nieto sought to shift the public’s attention away from security issues and toward economic and social policy. The hallmark of this effort was the Pact for Mexico, an accord signed by the president and leaders of the three major political parties to put aside political differences and move the country forward through cooperation in five key areas. These included agreements...