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Anuario Colombiano de Historia Social y de la Cultura

Print version ISSN 0120-2456


HERING TORRES, MAX S.. Pernicious Subjects. Anthropometrics, Detective Work, and Judicial Police in Colombia, 1910-1930. Anu. colomb. hist. soc. cult. [online]. 2019, vol.46, n.2, pp.117-153. ISSN 0120-2456.

The objective of the article is to discuss the role of the police from a perspective that combines anthropometrics, detective work, and the Judicial Police in Colombia at the beginning of the 20th century. On the basis of unpublished archival materials, as well as newspapers and magazines of the period, the article reconstructs the case of the deportation of Emilio Napoleón Ravalletty, a French migrant, allegedly undocumented and suspected of robbery. Given the convergence of racial migration policies, notions of security, and imaginaries of social danger, it analyzes the anthropometric record practices, the construction of evidence as part of investigative detective work, and the administration of justice by the Police. This approach evinces, firstly, the strategies used to create the notion of pernicious subject; secondly, the manner in which prejudice is rationalized; and thirdly, the fragility of the boundary between positive and false positive, as a constitutive element of prevention and anticipation.

Keywords : anthropometrics; detective work; social danger; pernicious subject; justice; Police; security.

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