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Old 03-27-2012   #61
ganulv
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Default La Isla del Espanto.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
El Salvador's population is a little over 6 million, while NYC's population is a little over 8 million.

Murders in El Salvador average around 4,000/per year, while murders in NYC average around 500/per year. NYC's population is 25% greater than El Salvador's.
The population of Puerto Rico is around 4 million and there were in the neighborhood of 1,000 murders there last year. I lived on the island for a year in the late ’90s when the rate was similar and it was pretty unnerving. I was forewarned about the crime rate beforehand but thought I knew what I was in for given that I had spent all of my youth on an Indian reservation and had just before that point spent a year in Guatemala as their civil war wound down. Neither of those experiences was comparable. Don’t know if it is still the case but when I was in PR you weren’t required to stop at traffic signals after 2200 due to the very real possibility of being carjacked and no one I knew stopped to get gas after dark unless they were running on vapors. So I don’t really want to imagine what life is like in the Central American countries right now.*

*For all the press the drug related violence in Mexico gets the reported murder rate there doesn’t approach that of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala and is lower than Puerto Rico’s. My understanding is that it is highly localized, however.
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Last edited by ganulv; 03-27-2012 at 03:43 PM. Reason: typo fix
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Old 03-27-2012   #62
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Default

This is a New Yorker story from 2010 about the Rodrigo Rosenberg suicide in Guatemala that is a remarkably well-written portrayal of just how out of control Guatemala has gotten.

Quote:
In 2007, a joint study by the United Nations and the World Bank ranked it as the third most murderous country. Between 2000 and 2009, the number of killings rose steadily, ultimately reaching sixty-four hundred. The murder rate was nearly four times higher than Mexico’s. In 2009, fewer civilians were reported killed in the war zone of Iraq than were shot, stabbed, or beaten to death in Guatemala.

...

Criminal networks have infiltrated virtually every government and law-enforcement agency, and more than half the country is no longer believed to be under the control of any government at all. Citizens, deprived of justice, often form lynch mobs, or they resolve disputes, even trivial ones, by hiring assassins.

Some authorities have revived the darkest counter-insurgency tactics, rounding up undesirables and executing them. Incredibly, the death rate in Guatemala is now higher than it was for much of the civil war. And there is almost absolute impunity: ninety-seven per cent of homicides remain unsolved, the killers free to kill again ...


Read more http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2...#ixzz1qKeF8qSt
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Old 04-11-2012   #63
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Default Latin American Countries Pursue Alternatives to US Drug War

Latin American Countries Pursue Alternatives to US Drug War

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Old 05-01-2012   #64
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El Salvador holds its breath after day without murders

Quote:
Scepticism in barrios, where residents say people are still disappearing despite truce between powerful gangs

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012...ers-gang-truce
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Old 05-06-2012   #65
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Default Lessons of Iraq Help U.S. Fight a Drug War in Honduras

Lessons of Iraq Help U.S. Fight a Drug War in Honduras

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Old 06-01-2012   #66
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Default A pact with El Salvador gangs

An article from 'Open Security' which covers more than El Salvador, notably Mexico and looks at the low profile, tentative success of the state talking to gangs - with the key features being better conditions for those in jail (as in Spain, Italy and the UK IIRC) and a wise retired soldier.

It opens with:
Quote:
Talk of a pact with criminals is beyond the pale in Mexico’s presidential election campaign. But the tentative success of a deal with gang leaders in one of Central America’s most violent countries suggests the time may have come to explore a new style of negotiations aimed at reducing appalling levels of violence.

A month later, for the first time in years, the country recorded a day without a violent death; the official hope is now that the murder rate will fall in 2012 by 50 percent. The gangs have even agreed to halt forced recruitment of young people.
Citing Interior Minister David Munguía Payés, a retired general:
Quote:
My hope is that they [the gangs] don’t commit serious crimes, like they are committing at the moment, because in reality the gangs aren’t going to disappear in the next 15 or 20 years. You will die, I will die, and still there will be gangs here in El Salvador. At best they just won’t be as violent as they are now.
Link:http://www.opendemocracy.net/ivan-br...als-with-devil

Brave men, maybe women too, on both sides to do this. Less violence is essential for public safety and civic life.
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Old 08-04-2012   #67
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Default Central America: confronting the drug gangs

There are several threads on this problem, so I have created this thread - as the IISS Strategic Comment covers several countries. It opens with:
Quote:
Central America is the world’s latest drugs hot-spot: up to 90% of the South American cocaine bound for the US now transits the region, most of it passing through the so-called 'northern triangle' of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

(Ends with)The countries of the northern triangle face a complicated crisis, requiring them to act on multiple fronts, improving the justice system and governance as well as security forces. Ultimately, they cannot effectively confront one of the most severe security crises in the world with one of the lowest rates of state revenue. The recent tax reforms in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador are likely to have more impact on fiscal deficits than on security. Insufficient external help and deep institutional fragilities mean that more ambitious tax reforms offer these countries the best chance to improve security.
Link:http://www.iiss.org/publications/str...he-drug-gangs/

Curiously the new Mexican President has mooted legalisation, see Post 342:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...t=5370&page=18
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Old 10-04-2012   #68
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The Duffleblog weighs in
http://www.duffelblog.com/2012/06/is...-war-on-drugs/

Quote:
This new offensive, emerging just as the United States military winds down its conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and is moving to confront emerging threats, also showcases the nation’s new way of war: small-footprint missions with limited numbers of troops, partnerships with foreign military and police forces that take the lead in security operations, and narrowly defined goals, whether aimed at insurgents, terrorists or criminal groups that threaten American interests.

The effort draws on hard lessons learned from a decade of counterinsurgency in Afghanistan and Iraq, where troops were moved from giant bases to outposts scattered across remote, hostile areas so they could face off against insurgents.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/06/wo...anted=all&_r=0


And just for reference sake, from 2010

http://www.talkingdrugs.org/us-speci...king-in-mexico
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Last edited by AdamG; 10-04-2012 at 03:49 PM.
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Old 02-04-2013   #69
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Default US Military Expands its Drug War in Latin America

US Military Expands its Drug War in Latin America

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Old 12-10-2013   #70
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Default President Peña Nieto and Mexico’s Ongoing War on Drugs

President Peña Nieto and Mexico’s Ongoing War on Drugs

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Old 01-06-2014   #71
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Default Drug Traffickers Threaten Central America's Democratic Gains

Drug Traffickers Threaten Central America's Democratic Gains

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Old 02-03-2014   #72
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Default Mexican Cartel Smuggling Cocaine into Hong Kong Amid Booming Demand for Drugs

Mexican Cartel Smuggling Cocaine into Hong Kong Amid Booming Demand for Drugs

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Old 03-14-2014   #73
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Default Head of Southern Command Says He Lacks Resources to Fight Drug Trafficking

Head of Southern Command Says He Lacks Resources to Fight Drug Trafficking

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Old 12-02-2015   #74
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Default Gangs & Drug Trafficking in Central America Conference

Gangs & Drug Trafficking in Central America Conference

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Old 12-16-2015   #75
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Default The gang challenge in El-Salvador worse than you can imagine

Nothing on gangs in the region since 2012?Slightly taken aback here, so hat tip to WoTR for a long article (for them):http://warontherocks.com/2015/12/the...-can-imagine/?
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Old 12-31-2015   #76
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Default Crime, violence and political gridlock in El Salvador. Business as usual

More of a backgrounder and the need for a plan to escape. It ends with:
Quote:
The future of El Salvador depends not on new studies, strategies and funds. It depends on the ability to lay the foundations for a national accord that secures long-term commitments across the political spectrum for a plan that addresses the structural causes of violence, repairs the broken state apparatus and creates real opportunities for the country’s youth. Now, more than ever, Salvadoran society needs to shed its legacy as Latin America’s most socially and politically divided and begin to lay these foundations.
Link:https://www.opendemocracy.net/democr...-salvador-busi
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Old 01-15-2016   #77
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Default Review of Gangster Warlords: Drug Dollars, Killing Fields, and The New Politics of La

Review of Gangster Warlords: Drug Dollars, Killing Fields, and The New Politics of Latin America

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Old 04-22-2016   #78
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If headlines solved difficult problems then the Mexican President's UN speech is a good example. The BBC report assembles other opinions too. Here is a fact:
Quote:
Mexico has had more people disappear than Argentina and Chile together during their whole military regimes...We've had more Mexicans die in the drugs war than the US has had in Afghanistan and Iraq together. It's unreal. There's no way you can justify that kind of human cost.
Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-36109104

Open Democracy chimes into the debate:http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=...c&e=c883a819dc

A change in direction as the US Presidential Election looms is hardly encouraging or those who advocate change.
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