Mano Dura Contra el Crimen and Premature Death in Puerto Rico

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



American Studies



Publication Title

Policing the Planet: Why the Policing Crisis Led to Black Lives Matter


By the late 1980s, there was no question that Puerto Rico's economy had run out of steam. The economic growth produced during the mid-twentieth-century "golden age" of Puerto Rico's neo-colonial development scheme, known as Operation Bootstrap, was a distant memory, High levels of unemployment and a growing informal economy with all of its attendant problems had created a general sense of insecurity among many Puerto Rican's---a sense that the state would not or could not provide and protect. From the front page of the island's daily newspapers to conversations around countless kitchen tables, and reports produced by financial firms, academics, and government entities, the consensus was clear: the island was in crisis.


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