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Homicides in Guatemala: The Challenge and Lessons of Disaggregating Gang-Related and Drug Trafficking-Related Murders

Homicides in Guatemala: The Challenge and Lessons of Disaggregating Gang-Related and Drug Trafficking-Related Murders

Homicide classifications have wide-spread implications on local and international citizen security strategies and the distribution of resources in these countries. Denominating homicides as primarily “drug trafficking-related” or “gangrelated” leads to an emphasis on bolstering security forces, frequently at the expense of other institutions and projects. A more nuanced understanding of homicide dynamics might open the door to softer approaches such as social programs aimed at lowering gender-based violence, or education and other youth-outreach projects.

In order to test the hypothesis that drug trafficking organizations and street gangs are behind the vast majority of homicides in the region, InSight Crime took a more systematic approach. We attempted to disaggregate homicide motives and actors by analyzing, case by case, homicides over a two-year period in two areas in Guatemala: one area that government officials denominated a “drug trafficking corridor”; another denominated as a “gang area.”

The project also analyzed the way in which authorities collect data in Guatemala and offers some preliminary suggestions as to how this process can be improved. In this way, InSight Crime hopes to provide international donors and local authorities with a better understanding of where they can provide assistance to police and other agencies that are collecting and analyzing homicide data. It also hopes to get close to understanding who and what are behind the homicides, so that governments and multilaterals can better allocate their limited resources. 

Categoría:Publicaciones
País:Estados Unidos de América
Idioma:Inglés
Año:2016
Institución:InSight Crime
Autor:Steven Dudley

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Marina Castro-MeirellesMarina Castro-Meirelles

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