Gang Violence and Security in Central America
319 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 1.30 in
Sales Date: December 1, 2011
Sensational headlines have publicized the drug trafficking, brutal violence, and other organized crime elements associated with Central America's mara gangs, but there have been few clear-eyed analyses of the history, hierarchies, and future of the mara phenomenon. The first book to look specifically at the Central American gang problem by drawing on the perspectives of researchers from different disciplinary backgrounds, Maras: Gang Violence and Security in Central America provides much-needed insight.
These essays trace the development of the gangs, from Mara Salvatrucha to the 18th Street Gang, in Los Angeles and their spread to El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and Nicaragua as the result of members' deportation to Central America; there, they account for high homicide rates and threaten the democratic stability of the region. With expertise in areas ranging from political science to law enforcement and human rights, the contributors also explore the spread of mara violence in the United States. Their findings comprise a complete documentation that spans sexualized violence, case studies of individual gangs, economic factors, varied responses to gang violence, the use of intelligence gathering, the limits of state power, and the role of policy makers.
Raising crucial questions for a wide readership, these essays are sure to spark productive international dialogues.
Long overdue. . . . This book promises to set a new standard for research analysis of the mara issue with a goal of contributing to more enlightened and innovative policy.~Donna DeCesare
- Introduction (Thomas Bruneau)
- Part I. Case Studies
- Chapter 1. The Origins of Southern California Latino Gangs (Al Valdez)
- Chapter 2. Street Gangs of El Salvador (Sonja Wolf)
- Chapter 3. Street Gangs of Guatemala (Elin Cecilie Ranum)
- Chapter 4. Street Gangs of Honduras (Joanna Mateo)
- Chapter 5. Street Gangs of Nicaragua (José Luis Rocha (translated from the Spanish by Michael Solis))
- Part II. Responses to Gang Violence
- Chapter 6. State Power and Central American Maras: A Cross-national Comparison (Enrique Desmond Arias)
- Chapter 7. Government Responses and the Dark Side of Gang Suppression in Central America (José Miguel Cruz)
- Chapter 8. Elite Membership and Sexualized Violence among Central American Gangs (Mauricio Rubio (translated from the Spanish by Michael Solis))
- Chapter 9. The Use of Intelligence to Combat Maras (Clifford Gyves)
- Chapter 10. The Impact of U.S. Anti-gang Policies in Central America: Quo Vadis? (Florina Cristiana Matei)
- Conclusion: The Dilemma of Fighting Gangs in New Democracies (Thomas Bruneau and Lucía Dammert)
- List of Acronyms
- About the Contributors