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I Ask for Justice: Maya Women, Dictators, and Crime in Guatemala, 1898-1944

I Ask for Justice: Maya Women, Dictators, and Crime in Guatemala, 1898-1944

Hardback Louann Atkins Temple Women & Culture (Numbered)

By (author) Jr. David Carey

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  • Publisher: University of Texas Press
  • Format: Hardback | 363 pages
  • Dimensions: 160mm x 234mm x 28mm | 726g
  • Publication date: 1 October 2013
  • Publication City/Country: Austin, TX
  • ISBN 10: 029274868X
  • ISBN 13: 9780292748682
  • Illustrations note: 31 photographs, 2 maps, 4 tables

Product description

Given Guatemala's record of human rights abuses, its legal system has often been portrayed as illegitimate and anemic. I Ask for Justice challenges that perception by demonstrating that even though the legal system was not always just, rural Guatemalans considered it a legitimate arbiter of their grievances and an important tool for advancing their agendas. As both a mirror and an instrument of the state, the judicial system simultaneously illuminates the limits of state rule and the state's ability to co-opt Guatemalans by hearing their voices in court. Against the backdrop of two of Latin America's most oppressive regimes - the dictatorships of Manuel Estrada Cabrera (1898-1920) and General Jorge Ubico (1931-1944) - David Carey Jr. explores the ways in which indigenous people, women, and the poor used Guatemala's legal system to manipulate the boundaries between legality and criminality. Using court records that are surprisingly rich in Maya women's voices, he analyzes how bootleggers, cross-dressers, and other litigants crafted their narratives to defend their human rights. Revealing how nuances of power, gender, ethnicity, class, and morality were constructed and contested, this history of crime and criminality demonstrates how Maya men and women attempted to improve their socioeconomic positions and to press for their rights with strategies that ranged from the pursuit of illicit activities to the deployment of the legal system.

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations, Maps, and Tables Foreword by Pablo Piccato Acknowledgments Introduction: Justice, Ethnicity, and Gender in Twentieth-Century Guatemala Chapter 1. Dictators, Indigenas, and the Legal System: Intersections of Race and Crime Chapter 2. "Rough and Thorny Terrain": Moonshine, Gender, and Ethnicity Chapter 3. "Productive Activity": Female Vendors and Ladino Authorities in the Market Chapter 4. Unnatural Mothers and Reproductive Crimes: Infanticide, Abortion, and Cross-Dressing Chapter 5. Wives in Danger and Dangerous Women: Domestic and Female Violence Chapter 6. Honorable Subjects: Public Insults, Family Feuds, and State Power Conclusion: Emboldened and Constrained Appendices Notes Glossary Bibliography Index