the main objective of this paper was to analyze the arguments employed by residents of a municipality of the state of mexico to justify some violent practices perpetrated by the state and that have been used as a strategy in recent years to address the issue of public insecurity. to this effect, a research work from the qualitative paradigm was carried out,using the semi- structured interview as the main tool. the argumentative discourse analysis revealed that the justification, rather than being based on a perception of widespread insecurity, paradoxically, haditssupport on social discontent with the authorities responsible for the administration and enforcement of justice. the most frequent arguments were: efficiency, defense, and proportional punishment. in each one of them, the social construction of offenders, the meaning system about "the violent", the concept of justice and the degree of damage perceived for the participant were present.