This essay explores the ruins trope in representations of the turn–of–the-millennium Latin American city. Like Sabina Berman in her dramatic evocation of Mexico City, Latin American artists represent urban ruins as volatile locales of cultural and historical presences that conflict and resist banishment. This analysis of Berman's Muerte súbita (“Sudden Death”), first staged in 1988, draws on recent theoretical inquiries that highlight the ruin's nonlinear juxtaposition of time frames and its association with the underbelly of Western modernity's rationalist narratives of progress and with a forward–looking critical consciousness. I examine the play's work with ruins and the ghostly presences they harbor to evoke contentious social, cultural, and artistic presences in a disintegrating Mexico City landscape. In stirring up the debris of vanishing urban utopias, works such as Berman's play constitute critical refusals of closure and conjure up unresolved cultural debates vying for a hearing. They also link the ruins trope to constructive, nonutopian imaginings of a less ruinous future and to creative engagements with the urban terrain, however devastated, in search of something of value.