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Esteban Salmon Perrilliat

Field of Interest(s)
Criminal justice
Punitive populism
Latin America

My research is about the political uses of state violence in democracies. My current project focuses on criminal prosecution in Mexico City. It follows prosecutors, detectives, defense attorneys, and previously incarcerated individuals grappling with the political use of criminal punishment. This project figures the criminal justice system as a space of negotiations between two conflicting aspects of constitutional democracy: the punitive demands of the electorate and the rule of law protections for the individual rights of suspects. I am exploring the nature of justice that these negotiations produce in Mexico.

As part of this research, I produced a podcast about the power of criminal prosecutors.

My first book, Navegar fronteras (Mexico 2018), was an ethnographic study of Mexican undocumented migrants in New York, describing how the wage differential between both countries transformed cultural practices of kinship, labor, and ostentation.