Duke University Press
  • Like this title? Start a Reading List with others like it!

  • Barrio Libre: Criminalizing States and Delinquent Refusals of the New Frontier

    Author(s): Gilberto Rosas
    Published: 2012
    Pages: 200
    Illustrations: 5 illustrations
  • Paperback: $23.95 - In Stock
  • Cloth: $84.95 - In Stock
  • Quantity
  • Add To Bag
  • Acknowledgments  ix
    Introduction. The Criminalizing Depths of State and Other Shit  3
    1. Other Nightmares and the Rise of the New Frontier  29
    2. Against Mexico: Thickening Delinquency of the New Frontier  55
    3. Low-Intensity Reinforcements: Cholos, Chúntaros, and the "Criminal" Abandonments of the New Frontier  73
    Interlude. Post-September 11 at the New Frontier  89
    4. Against the United States: The Violent Inaugurations and Delinquent Exceptions of the New Frontier  95
    5. Oozing Barrio Libre and the Pathological Ends of Life  115
    Interlude. Nervous Cocks at the New Frontier  133
    Conclusion. The New Frontier Thickens  137
    Notes  147
    Bibliography  163
    Index  183
  • "Gilberto Rosas's exploration of the seamy underbelly of neoliberal state sovereignty in the sewer tunnels beneath the US-Mexico border takes us to a vexed and murky place, both ethnographically and theoretically. His work invites us to consider provocative and urgent questions about the deep complicity between policing and criminality, and the racialized relegation of human life to abjection and unnatural death on the new frontier. Rosas's insistence upon directing our critical gaze to a dark and dank place of subjection, power, and violence ought to instigate vital new lines of debate in the study of border enforcement and subjectivity within the wild zones of state power."—Nicholas De Genova, coeditor of The Deportation Regime: Sovereignty, Space, and the Freedom of Movement

    "In this raw and compelling ethnography, Gilberto Rosas grapples with the violence, racism, and determined attempts by border youth to build their own sense of freedom in the cage of the US-Mexico border and its economy of escalating inequalities. Barrio Libre is a significant contribution to border and borderlands studies, one that enriches our understanding of the lives of youth."—Lynn Stephen, author of Transborder Lives: Indigenous Oaxacans in Mexico, California, and Oregon

  • Permission to Photocopy (coursepacks)

    If you are requesting permission to photocopy material for classroom use, please contact the Copyright Clearance Center at copyright.com;

    If the Copyright Clearance Center cannot grant permission, you may request permission from our Copyrights & Permissions Manager (use Contact Information listed below).

    Permission to Reprint

    If you are requesting permission to reprint DUP material (journal or book selection) in another book or in any other format, contact our Copyrights & Permissions Manager (use Contact Information listed below).


    Many images/art used in material copyrighted by Duke University Press are controlled, not by the Press, but by the owner of the image. Please check the credit line adjacent to the illustration, as well as the front and back matter of the book for a list of credits. You must obtain permission directly from the owner of the image. Occasionally, Duke University Press controls the rights to maps or other drawings. Please direct permission requests for these images to permissions@dukeupress.edu.
    For book covers to accompany reviews, please contact the publicity department.

    Subsidiary Rights/Foreign Translations

    If you're interested in a Duke University Press book for subsidiary rights/translations, please contact permissions@dukeupress.edu. Include the book title/author, rights sought, and estimated print run.

    Disability Requests

    Instructions for requesting an electronic text on behalf of a student with disabilities are available here.

    Rights & Permissions Contact Information

    Email: permissions@dukeupress.edu
    Email contact for coursepacks: asstpermissions@dukeupress.edu
    Fax: 919-688-4574
    Duke University Press
    Rights and Permissions
    905 W. Main Street
    Suite 18B
    Durham, NC 27701

    For all requests please include:
    1. Author's name. If book has an editor that is different from the article author, include editor's name also.
    2. Title of the journal article or book chapter and title of journal or title of book
    3. Page numbers (if excerpting, provide specifics)
    For coursepacks, please also note: The number of copies requested, the school and professor requesting
    For reprints and subsidiary rights, please also note: Your volume title, publication date, publisher, print run, page count, rights sought
  • Description

    The city of Nogales straddles the border running between Arizona and Sonora, Mexico. On the Mexican side, marginalized youths calling themselves Barrio Libre (Free 'Hood) employ violence, theft, and bribery to survive, often preying on undocumented migrants who navigate the city's sewer system to cross the US-Mexico border. In this book, Gilberto Rosas draws on his in-depth ethnographic research among the members of Barrio Libre to understand why they have embraced criminality and how neoliberalism and security policies on both sides of the border have affected the youths' descent into Barrio Libre.

    Rosas argues that although these youths participate in the victimization of others, they should not be demonized. They are complexly and adversely situated. The effects of NAFTA have forced many of them, as well as other Mexicans, to migrate to Nogales. Moving fluidly with the youths through the spaces that they inhabit and control, he shows how the militarization of the border actually destabilized the region and led Barrio Libre to turn to increasingly violent activities, including drug trafficking. By focusing on these youths and their delinquency, Rosas demonstrates how capitalism and criminality shape perceptions and experiences of race, sovereignty, and resistance along the US-Mexico border.

    About The Author(s)

    Gilberto Rosas is Assistant Professor in the Departments of Anthropology and Latina/Latino Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Explore More

Create a reading list or add to an existing list. Sign-in or register now to continue.