Disorder And Progress : Bandits, Police, And Mexican Development

1143 Words Oct 12th, 2016 5 Pages
In his book Disorder and Progress: Bandits, Police, and Mexican Development, Paul J. Vanderwood discusses the Rural Police, also known as Rurales, of Mexico. Vanderwood traces the conception of the Mexican police force to the presidency of Benito Juárez’s. Likewise, Vanderwood explains Juárez’s motives behind the creation of the police force, despite Juárez’s liberal ideology and faith in federalism. Vanderwood also discusses the transformation of the Mexican police force during Porfirio Díaz’s dictatorship. Disorder and Progress emphasizes the roles of disorder and order in Mexico during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Vanderwood’s emphasis on the roles of disorder and order helps to illuminate how Mexican leaders, especially Díaz, exploited the rural police force for political gain. To add, the focus on disorder and order manifest the role that the Rurales played in the modernization of Mexico. After all, the Rurales played a vital role in creating the illusion of stability, which in turn encouraged foreign investment in Mexico. Noticeably, the roles of the Rurales were altered depending on who the leader of Mexico was and what the motives of that leader were.
The Rural Police Force in Mexico was established on May 6, 1861 during Benito Juárez’s presidency. Juárez formed the Rural Police force in order to centralize the government’s power. During this time, political disorder was prevalent. According to Vanderwood, Juárez and the Liberals began to “despise chaos…

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