Armed Actors: Organised Violence and State Failure in Latin by Kees Koonings, Dirk Kruijt

By Kees Koonings, Dirk Kruijt

This quantity explores fresh facts of ways partial kingdom failure in Latin the US interacts with new types of equipped violence, undermining the democratic consolidations of the earlier 20 years. This "new violence" stems from numerous social actors: drug mafias, peasant militias and concrete gangs, the so-called actores armadas, and contain state-related actors just like the police, army intelligence organisations and paramilitary forces. the consequences contain either "governance voids"--domains the place the valid kingdom is successfully absent--and the erosion of the capability and willingness of kingdom officers to abide via the rule of thumb of legislation themselves. those trends, in flip, threaten the potential for a re-installation of authoritarian regimes lower than the regulate of political armies or, at least, the unfold of nation violence in a single shape or one other. This publication sees hyperlinks among this cave in of governance and the weakening of country buildings undertaken within the identify of neoliberal financial reforms.

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40 This rural pattern is no recent invention or development. In Brazil, in the past and to a certain extent in the present, the state and private landowners have shared responsibility for policing in rural areas. This factor operates in tandem with American vigilantism (Brown 1976: 104). Another explanation lies in past oligarchical strategies by local elites trying to limit the concentration of power, especially in the field of law enforcement on a supra-local level. Power battles at federal, state and local level included the provision of a means of force – police formations – allowing such elites to be better equipped in fights (Huggins 1998: 35–7).

For this same reason their role is politically highly relevant. Many scholars define police roles as being inevitaby political in nature. As instruments of power they are sometimes used to enforce the rule of law, sometimes just to exercise political power, and sometimes simply to enforce their own will. In many countries the police do not carry out their tasks on their own. They have helpers: individuals, organizations or institutions that assist the police in their work. We call these helpers ‘extensions’.

In the year of the peace agreements, 1996, the then minister of defence had to oust several high-ranking officials – among which was one of Guatemala’s twelve brigade generals – from the army for their proven connections with drug trafficking. 1). Up until now we have described the Latin American situation until the end of the twentieth century. At the turn of the century, however, in three very significant countries – Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico – a serious adjustment in intelligence matters materialized.

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