Title

State Presence, Armed Actors, and Criminal Violence in Central America

Date of Publication

2021 12:00 AM

Security Theme

Transnational Organized Crime

Keywords

Crime, State forces, Non-state armed actors, Central America

Description

This paper examines the relationship between the perceived presence of state forces and non-state actors and the levels of criminal violence affecting Central America. It contends that state presence in some communities does not necessarily lead to lower crime levels than communities where state institutions are absent. The data of this study come from three nationally representative surveys conducted in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. The findings suggest that state forces, such as the police and the military, have a limited role in reducing criminal violence rates. In contrast, non-state armed actors, such as vigilantes and community groups, may have a more significant role in reducing violence in some circumstances. We analyze these findings as evidence of the complex relationships between state actors, non-state actors, and criminal violence in developing countries.

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Jan 1st, 12:00 AM

State Presence, Armed Actors, and Criminal Violence in Central America

This paper examines the relationship between the perceived presence of state forces and non-state actors and the levels of criminal violence affecting Central America. It contends that state presence in some communities does not necessarily lead to lower crime levels than communities where state institutions are absent. The data of this study come from three nationally representative surveys conducted in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. The findings suggest that state forces, such as the police and the military, have a limited role in reducing criminal violence rates. In contrast, non-state armed actors, such as vigilantes and community groups, may have a more significant role in reducing violence in some circumstances. We analyze these findings as evidence of the complex relationships between state actors, non-state actors, and criminal violence in developing countries.