30 July 2021
Beatriz Magaloni and Luis Rodriguez in conversation with y Versa Weaver

Dr. Vesla Weaver: We are here today to discuss an extraordinarily important, breathtaking article. The piece is “Institutionalized Police Brutality: Torture, the Militarization of Security, and the Reform of Inquisitorial Criminal Justice in Mexico.” The piece touches on so much, and we are lucky to have Beatriz Magaloni & Luis Rodriguez today.

Before we get to some of my specific questions, I just wanted to mention that the central argument and key finding is that the shift from the inquisitorial legal system to an adversarial legal system transformed the use of torture. Basically, it shifts the system so that there was much more due process for the defendants, much more protections and less reliance on confessions that often entailed torture and intimidation of witnesses. And that this single shift caused a dramatic decline in the use of police torture; but–and the second and just as important finding–that those reforms were delimited by the militarized intervention of the drug war. What puzzles or ideas or observations led you to this research? And what are some of the epiphanies you had along the way?

Please read the rest of our conversation with Dr. Vesla Weaver on the American Political Science Review's Monthly Blog: