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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-12-01
  • Publisher: Univ of Texas Pr

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Sensational headlines have publicized the drug trafficking, brutal violence, and other organized crime elements associated with Central America's maragangs, but there have been few clear-eyed analyses of the history, hierarchies, and future of the maraphenomenon. 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 Americaprovides much-needed insight. These essays trace the development of the gangs, from "Mara Salvatrucha" to "M-18," 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 maraviolence 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.

Author Biography

Thomas Bruneau is Distinguished Professor of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, Lucia Dammert is Executive Director of the Global Consortium of Security Transformation in Santiago, Chile. Elizabeth skinner is the think tank coordinator at NATO's Allied Command Transformation in Norfolk, Virginia.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introductionp. 1
Case Studies
The Origins of Southern California Latino Gangsp. 23
Street Gangs of El Salvadorp. 43
Street Gangs of Guatemalap. 71
Street Gangs of Hondurasp. 87
Street Gangs of Nicaraguap. 105
Responses to Gang Violence
State Power and Central American Maras: A Cross-national Comparisonp. 123
Government Responses and the Dark Side of Gang Suppression in Central Americap. 137
Elite Membership and Sexualized Violence among Central American Gangsp. 159
The Use of Intelligence to Combat Marasp. 181
The Impact of U.S. Anti-gang Policies in Central America QuoVadis?p. 197
Conclusion: The Dilemma of Fighting Gangs in New Democraciesp. 211
Notesp. 219
Glossaryp. 259
List of Acronymsp. 261
Bibliographyp. 265
About the Contributorsp. 291
Indexp. 297
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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