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NMSU professor’s book signing for ‘Gangs of the El Paso-Juárez Borderland’ set for Dec. 15

  • By Victoria Balderrama
  • 575-646-1614
  • Dec 12, 2019
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New Mexico State University Criminal Justice Associate Professor and author Mike Tapia will have a book signing event from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15 at the Barnes & Noble bookstore located on the NMSU campus.

Tapia will have additional book signing events from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 17 at the Barnes & Noble at the Fountains at Farah in El Paso, Texas, with local acclaimed author Sergio Troncoso, and from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21 at the COAS bookstore in downtown Las Cruces.

In his book, “Gangs of the El Paso-Juárez Borderland,” Tapia examines gang history in the region encompassing west Texas, southern New Mexico and northern Chihuahua, Mexico. Tapia explores a century of historical developments through a criminological lens and by studying the diverse subcultures on both sides of the law.

“One of the reasons I wrote it is due to the lack of any other book that covers such a broad timeframe (1920-2020) in the history of the region’s delinquent subcultures. It provides readers with a sense of how and where El Paso’s gangs began, how they’ve changed over time, and what makes them unique compared to those of other U.S. cities. It documents the formation, structure and cultural features of a quickly fading urban phenomenon once known as ‘barrio gangs’ and follows their evolution into the modern age,” said Tapia.

He looks extensively at the role of history and geography on criminal subculture formation in the urban setting of El Paso-Juárez, demonstrating the region’s unique context for criminogenic processes. He provides a poignant case study of Homeland Security and the apparent lack of drug war spillover in communities on the U.S.-Mexico border.

For more information on “Gangs of the El Paso- Juárez Borderland,” visit,