A Borderlands History of Mexican Imprisonment in the Sunbelt
This chapter offers a transnational and borderlands framework to reveal how the U.S. and Mexican governments conspired together to use the jail system to quell Mexico’s political revolution. The chapter chronicles the story of Ricardo Magonista’s incarceration in the U.S. from 1907 to 1910 and the ways in which the Mexican and U.S. governments had a shared interest in Magonista’s prolonged incarceration. The chapter takes up a transnational approach to incarceration that demonstrates the ways in which opposing states hoped to silence political radicals through criminalization across national borders. Yet even as states collaborated across borders to use jails and prisons as a place to silence dissent, this chapter reveals how incarceration had the ironic effect of creating new opportunities to orchestrate political and military assaults against the Porfirio Díaz regime. The chapter concludes that the U.S. jailing of Magonistas failed to silence them as they fanned the flames of revolution from jail cells.
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