Killing Mapepe: Race, Sex, and Colonial Politics in Cold War Vieques

Katherine T. McCaffrey, Bonnie Donohue

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This essay explores the killing of an elderly civilian by U.S. servicemen on leave in Vieques Island, Puerto Rico in the 1950s, the subsequent general courts-martial of two marines who were charged with his killing, and the men’s stunning acquittal. For over sixty years, Vieques hosted a major U.S. military installation and large scale war game maneuvers that created considerable tension between residents and the military. A culture of sexual conquest prevailed, and racial tensions emanated from the newly desegregated armed forces. Our case study considers the intersection of race, sex and violence that eventuated in murder, and the complex colonial politics that interfered with justice.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Caribbean Studies
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages33
StatePublished - 2017

Publication series

NameNew Caribbean Studies
ISSN (Print)2691-3011
ISSN (Electronic)2634-5196


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