Criollos, Caudillos, and the Violent State

  • Victoria Lynn Garrett
Part of the New Directions in Latino American Cultures book series (NDLAC)


Argentina’s intense political struggles of the turn of the century have often been framed as a local versus foreign conflict. This chapter argues that Eduardo Gutiérrez’s and José J. Podestá’s Juan Moreira, Ezequiel Soria’s Justicia criolla, and Nemesio Trejo’s Libertad de sufragio and Los políticos frame politics differently, suggesting instead that modernity’s substitution of criollo values with market values opens a space for abusive politicians to rule. Through a diverse repertoire of performative tactics they frame the political and justice systems as lucrative, violent systems dominated by opportunists, illustrating the need to turn to political alternatives taken from popular criollismo, such as justicia criolla. Thus, they realign resistance with the local popular culture and, paradoxically, open a space for cross-cultural alliances against the oligarchy grounded in the precarity of the popular sectors.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Victoria Lynn Garrett
    • 1
  1. 1.College of CharlestonCharlestonUSA

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