C o n C L u s i o n
The New Frontier Thickens
Increasingly, crises of state sovereignty and low- intensity wars enmesh
impoverished figures in concomitant regimes of racialization and
criminalization, rendering them nightmares. These same phenomena
characterize what I call the new frontier, where Mexico and the United
States and their respective new projects of sovereignty involve warfare
and policing in this late neoliberal moment. In Mexico, haunted, pres-
sured public officials, police, journalists, and scholars call for some-
thing to be done about the renewed nightmares of insecurity, “la delin-
cuencia organizada.” Under the nightmares of the drug war, cholos are
being targeted. The Mexican authorities and drug traffickers dispose
of these abject youths, if they are not conscripted by the latter. Indeed,
following a massacre at a drug rehabilitation clinic in Ciudad Juárez
that has been linked to the ongoing drug war, letter writers in Mexico’s
progressive newspaper La Jornada celebrated the murder of cholos.
And that was why I wrote against Mexico.
Yet, as I have argued in this book, since well before September 11, in-
cipient forms of necessarily incomplete security warfare have occurred
at this international border, by both the United States and Mexico. They
birthed the cholos of the Free ’Hood and the youths’ embrace of the
pathological ends of their lives in nightmarish dark, fetid, sewers. There,
in seething criminal darkness, they inhaled inexpensive urban poisons,
painting their lungs gold, and painting gold the freedoms they found in
Barrio Libre. There, the youths exercised violence and terror as a means
of production, mugging uncouth, mestizaje- derived chúntaros.
Now, following September 11 and the latest aggravations of secu-
rity concerns, the perverse proximity of criminality and necessarily in-
complete wars of sovereignty has intensified. Fittingly, the youths who
once lived on the border of the legitimate and the “darkness” of the
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