Cover of Puerto Rico en el mundo

Cover of Puerto Rico en el mundo

Our popular culture tends to disas­sociate white-collar crimes from the phenomena of criminality. This tolerance is sustained by the assump­tion that these types of social violations, in general, do not constitute violent acts and are committed by decent people in moments of weakness. The current penal system validates this supposition by granting a preferential treatment to con­victs who come from wealthy families, and by segregating them from the general criminal population.

The level of general toler­ance for white-collar crimes extends to prevarication (cor­ruption) of public officials and active politicians. In recent times, the implementation of privatization strategies re­sulted in a dramatic increase in illegal practices, to such an extent as to create a virtual kleptocracy.

It is evident that the practi­cal consequences and symbolic implications of our attitudes towards white-collar crimes, including prevarication, are deep and durable. Strength­ened by the tradition of the ¡ay bendito!, this tolerance actually normalizes criminal behavior. Looking the other way when facing white-collar crime is part of the process of subversion of moral values in the postmod­ern world, promoted, in turn, by populist and consumerist aspirations. Nevertheless, it is closely related to the social degradation that sustains and feeds criminal activities.

Editorial`s Staff

Author: Proyectos FPH
Published: January 22, 2008.

Related Entries

This post is also available in: Español


The Puerto Rico Endowment for the Humanities welcomes the constructive comments that the readers of the Encyclopedia of Puerto Rico want to make us. Of course, these comments are entirely the responsibility of their respective authors.