By Gabriel Haslip-Viera
Younger, negative women and men migrated from the geographical region and swelled the ranks of the unemployed and underemployed in Mexico urban through the eighteenth century. With this quick progress in inhabitants got here a rise in road crime, thefts, attacks, and murders, in addition to ethical crimes, prostitution, adultery, and vagrancy. those transgressions supplied a gentle move of inmates to the city's six jails. This pioneering social historical past of crime and punishment in overdue colonial Latin the USA plunges us at once into the way of life and reviews of its lawbreakers. girls in most cases represented 30 percentage of all criminals, and by way of the eighteenth century obstacle for his or her welfare ended in Mexico City's first makes an attempt at rehabilitation. This Enlightenment-era test in social re-education took the shape of putting girls in separate amenities or in inner most houses to function maids to "respectable" households, which frequently amounted to little greater than exploitation of unpaid workers. For males, penitentiary used to be a way-station by way of serious corporal punishment after which years of pressured hard work. Many male criminals have been assigned to wash rubbish-filled streets and open canals of Mexico urban. Others went into factories, mines, or army carrier. All have been expendable and regularly died earlier than finishing their time period of confinement.
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Additional resources for Crime and Punishment in Late Colonial Mexico City, 1692-1810
These figures did not include the innumerable shanties, temporary structures, and ill-defined Page 9 Page 10 streets and alleys that were found in the peripheral areas. 5 The center of economic, social, and political life in the city was located, then as now, in the main square or Plaza Mayor. Here stood the viceregal palace, the city hall or casa de cabildo, and the cathedral, the seat of the Archbishop of Mexico and the tallest structure in the city. The Plaza Mayor was traditionally the scene of great economic and social activity.
It is an impenetrable forest filled with evil and dissolution, which makes it uninhabitable for cultured people. It is filled with innumerable lairs and other hiding places, where vile persons shelter themselves and which one may properly call pig-sties rather than houses for rational beings. Each one swarms with a multitude of filthy and repugnant men and women, who are the abomination of the rest of us because of their disordered lives and customs. They are brothels of infamy and a shelter, that should not be permitted, for all kinds of unimaginable vices are committed there; an ugly and disgusting blot on culture and civilization.
1 Emphasis will be placed on crimes committed by the urban poor or "street crimes," with the result that fraud, contraband, and other "middle-class" and elite-oriented "white-collar" crimes will not be discussed, except to illustrate certain similarities to the infractions committed by the urban poor. Similarly, crimes of a moral or religious orientation, normally prosecuted in church courts will not be discussed in this study. The reader may turn with complete confidence to the studies that have been written on the Inquisition in colonial Mexico by José Toribio Medina, Solange Alberro, Richard E.