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Sexuality and the Unnatural in Colonial Latin America$
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Zeb Tortorici

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780520288140

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520288140.001.0001

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The Nefarious Crime in Mexico, 1800–1856

(p.188) 9 Bestiality
Sexuality and the Unnatural in Colonial Latin America

Mílada Bazant

, Beatriz Álvarez, Zeb Tortorici
University of California Press

This chapter discusses how criminal courts in late colonial and early national Mexico maintained a high degree of flexibility in determining the punishments for males convicted of the “sin against nature” of bestiality—the worst of all sexual crimes. It particularly recounts the story of José de los Reyes who had intercourse with a jenny under the influence of alcohol. The judge made a series of statements to the effect that the crime, being “so against the natural,” could not be committed even in a state of inebriation; thus making it worthy of the death penalty. However, when the accused was successfully “proven” to be indigenous and of scarce intelligence, the judge sentenced Reyes only with ten-year’s imprisonment.

Keywords:   bestiality, José de los Reyes, inebriation, sexual crimes, jenny

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