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While the City SleepsA History of Pistoleros, Policemen, and the Crime Beat in Buenos Aires before Perón$
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Lila Caimari

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780520289437

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520289437.001.0001

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(p.13) Chapter 1. Pistoleros
While the City Sleeps

Lila Caimari

University of California Press

This chapter looks at the material evolution of illegal practices in the city of Buenos Aires. This emphasis suggests a hypothesis: that the motor of change can be found in interactions between technological modernization, the expansion of consumer culture, and the rise of a performative dimension of crime. New criminal practices emerged within the context of different local practices and traditions, but their performative quality allowed them to be superficially grouped together and homogenized under a single conceptual mantle. The data indicates that the feeling that violence in public places was on the rise was a perception rooted in reality, although the principal culprits were the new cars rather than the new crime. The rise of “new” crime was closely linked to the transformation of urban transport.

Keywords:   Buenos Aires, crime, illegal practices, urban transport, crime rates, violence

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