Another Mexicanism

Abogánster = abogado (lawyer) + gangster. Here‘s some good stuff by Carlos Monsiváis about legal culture in a country where justice is generally viewed as the belonging to the rich. He says that abogánster is a 1940s term whose archetype was Bernabé Jurado, legendary for eating evidence, buying witnesses, overseeing torture leading to false confessions, beating his girlfriends and 14 wives, and seeing in his law degree only a means to undermine the rule of law. Jurado got William Burroughs off after the latter shot his wife Joan Vollmer in 1951, walking with Burroughs into bar La Ópera 13 days after the killing in a demonstration of his contempt for the courts. Juan Villoro’s piece–which is a good read, particularly if you’re interested in a Mexican perspective on Burroughs–says that Jurado spent only a year in prison, at the end of his life, after shooting dead his last wife in a fit of jealousy. Probably still just preferable to being a trombonist.

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