Corruption and Justice in Colonial Mexico, 1650-1755

October 30, 2020
Corruption and Justice in Colonial Mexico, 1650-1755

Corruption is one of the most prominent issues in Latin Americannews cycles, with charges deciding the recent elections in Mexico,Brazil, and Guatemala. Despite the urgency of the matter, fewrecent historical studies on the topic exist, especially on Mexico.For this reason, Christoph Rosenmüller explores the enigma ofhistorical corruption. By drawing upon thorough archival researchand a multi-lingual collection of printed primary sources andsecondary literature, Rosenmüller demonstrates how corruption inthe past differed markedly from today. Corruption in Mexico'scolonial period connoted the obstruction of justice; judges, forexample, tortured prisoners to extract cash or accepted bribes toalter judicial verdicts. In addition, the concept evolved over timeto include several forms of self-advantage in the bureaucracy.Rosenmüller embeds this important shift from judicial toadministrative corruption within the changing Atlantic World, whilealso providing insightful perspectives from the lower socialechelons of colonial Mexico.