The Femicide Machine

Overview

In Ciudad Juarez, a territorial power normalized barbarism. This anomalous ecology mutated into a femicide machine: an apparatus that didn't just create the conditions for the murders of dozens of women and little girls, but developed the institutions that guarantee impunity for those crimes and even legalize them. A lawless city sponsored by a State in crisis. The facts speak for themselves. -- from The ...

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Overview

In Ciudad Juarez, a territorial power normalized barbarism. This anomalous ecology mutated into a femicide machine: an apparatus that didn't just create the conditions for the murders of dozens of women and little girls, but developed the institutions that guarantee impunity for those crimes and even legalize them. A lawless city sponsored by a State in crisis. The facts speak for themselves. -- from The Femicide Machine

Best known to
American readers for his cameo appearances as The Journalist in Roberto Bolano's
2666 and as a literary detective in Javier Marías's nove l Dark Back of
Time
, Sergio González Rodríguez is one of Mexico's most important contemporary writers. He is the author of Bones in the Desert, the most definitive work on the murders of women and girls in Juárez, Mexico, as well as The Headless Man, a sharp meditation on the recurrent uses of symbolic violence; Infectious, a novel; and
Original Evil, a long essay. The Femicide Machine is the first book by González Rodríguez to appear in English translation.

Written especially for Semiotext(e) Intervention series, The Femicide Machine synthesizes González
Rodríguez's documentation of the Juárez crimes, his analysis of the unique urban conditions in which they take place, and a discussion of the terror techniques of narco-warfare that have spread to both sides of the border. The result is a gripping polemic. The Femicide Machine
probes the anarchic confluence of global capital with corrupt national politics and displaced,
transient labor, and introduces the work of one of Mexico's most eminent writers to American readers.

Semiotext(e)

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this grim analysis of the infamous murders of young women in the Mexican border city of Juárez, Mexican journalist Rodríguez (Bones in the Desert) links this series of grisly, ongoing, unsolved crimes with local, national, and international societal and political malaise. Rodríguez portrays Juárez as “four cities in one”: a border town/U.S. backyard for “those seeking escape from regulation across the border”; a city dominated by the maquila model, where “public space became oriented around the plants” and multinational corporations “prosper from urban impoverishment in developing nations”; and a nexus of the war on drugs and organized crime, exacerbated by government corruption. According to Rodríguez, these elements create an environment for “the femicide city,” where women and girls are tortured and murdered with impunity. Despite the book’s straightforward brevity, readers may be put off by the dry, academic tone and stilted translation. However, the epilogue, a mother’s heartbreaking narration of her 17-year-old daughter’s abduction and subsequent rape, torture, and murder, denied by the local police but reported by the El Paso FBI, brings the book’s message to terrifying life. (Feb.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781584351108
  • Publisher: Semiotexte/Smart Art
  • Publication date: 1/31/2012
  • Series: Semiotext(e) / Intervention Series , #11
  • Pages: 136
  • Sales rank: 462,739
  • Product dimensions: 4.50 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Sergio González Rodríguez is a columnist for the Mexico City newspaper
Reforma who began his career writing art criticism for the renowned writer and editor Carlos Monsivais. He has covered the Juárez femicides since 1995, revealing the ties between police, government officials, and drug traffickers. Assaulted and kidnapped by unknown assailants in Mexico City in 1999
and banned from the State of Chihuahua, he continues to write on these subjects.
Bones in the Desert and T he Headless Man
have been published in Mexico, Spain, France, and Germany. González Rodríguez studied literature and journalism and is currently completing a doctorate in law.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Border and Vector 7

Border Town/Backyard 15

Assembly/Global City 26

War City/Mexico-USA 40

Femicide Machine 71

Epilogue: Instructions for Taking Textual Photographs 99

Notes 129

Bibliography 135

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