Gonzalo Soltero, "Conspiracy Narratives South of the Border: Bad Hombres Do the Twist" (Routledge, 2022)
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Gonzalo Soltero's book Conspiracy Narratives South of the Border: Bad Hombres Do the Twist (Routledge, 2022) examines four conspiracy narratives from Mexico that push the boundaries of conspiracy research in a new direction. They include narratives about Lee Harvey Oswald's visit to Mexico City, shortly before he apparently assassinated JFK, and street gangs across borders and how some of our worst fears are projected into them. ‘Lights Out’ and ‘Burundanga’ are popular narratives across the border, but Soltero provides us with their contextualization in Mexico and tells us how they transformed from urban legends into conspiracy theories.
Mexico is a fertile terrain for conspiracy theories due to its complex social environment and its proximity to the United States, which not only made it a strategic platform during the Cold War but also today’s land of bad hombres that according to Donald Trump should be fended off with a wall. Conspiracy theories are always narrative in nature, telling us about the state of the world and the actors behind such states of affairs. This narrativity tends to be so enthralling that they have increasingly become the substance of entertainment and even politics. This volume analyses Mexican conspiracy narratives, explaining how they produce meaning in a variety of different social and political contexts.
Roberto Mazza is currently a Visiting Lecturer at Northwestern University. He is the host of the Jerusalem Unplugged Podcast and to discuss and propose a book for interview can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter and IG: @robbyref
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