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Abstract: In the context of an authoritarian regime, controlled by the military in alliance with a powerful landowning oligarchy, Salvadoran political-military organizations sprang up throughout the 1970's. Political and economic exclusion were the basis from which a wide popular movement arose. Faced with the closing of arenas for political participation, huge numbers of activists joined the ranks of the guerrilla army during the 1970's. The five Salvadoran revolutionary organizations formed the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front in October 1980, with the joint aim of both procuring the government's defeat as well as creating a socialist project.
Following the defeat of the "final offensive" launched by the FMLN to oust the government in 1981, the conflict turned into a longstanding civil war that only came to an end when the main leaders from both sides became convinced it was impossible to attain military victory.
This work analyzes the emergence, dynamics and the transformation of the FMLN into a political party. the work pays particular attention to the causes that led to the armed struggle in El Salvador and the factors that made a negotiated solution to the armed conflict possible.
Abstract: From 1980 to 1991, a violent and destructive civil war
raged throughout El Salvador, rooted in more than a
century of systemic social, political and economic exclusion
of large segments of the population. From the latter half
of the 19th century, the country had been ruled by an
oligarchic alliance of a small wealthy landowning class
and the military, which maintained its grip on power in
a context of overwhelming inequality through the use of
physical force. The formal institutions of government in El
Salvador were little more than a facade.
These historical divisions were compounded by changes
in the geopolitical context. In the Cold War era, Latin
America was one of the major battlegrounds in the war
between capitalist and communist ideologies. El Salvador
was no exception: during the, war the US provided
more than $1.1 billion to the right-wing government in
an attempt to contain Cuban- and Nicaraguan-backed
revolutionaries. The result of this unfortunate conjunction
of historical injustice at home and geopolitical conflict on
the world stage resulted in a war that led to the deaths
of 75,000 people and the displacement of more than a
And yet, from this challenging and complex point of
departure, El Salvador has achieved significant progress
in developing a system of governance that provides
incentives for the state to act in ways that promote the
wellbeing of the population in general, rather than merely
that of an elite. The country has progressed from a state
of affairs in which physical violence was an accepted form
of political contestation to a norm of non-violent political
Abstract: Over the last decade, the international community
has been working toward a new and broader concept
of security, drawing input from a number of
governments, non-governmental organizations and
civil society groups as well as scholars and other
prominent individuals. This new concept—known
as human security—calls on states to ensure the
survival, livelihood and dignity of their inhabitants.
At the same time, it encourages e≠orts to equip
people to act more e≠ectively on their own behalf. Following the report by the Commission on Human Security, Human Security Now, this booklet seeks to show practical applications of human security and give the concept a human face. Between March-June 2006, in preparation for this publication, the Human Security Unit, a freelance journalist and a team of photographers visited dozens of project sites, conducting hundreds of interviews with local staff and beneficiaries. From these many compelling initiatives, nine stories were selected that reflect the range of issues, regions and institutions involved in human security work around the globe. Human security represents a fundamentally new
way of thinking about a range of contemporary
challenges—from hunger, poverty and failing
schools to armed conflict, forced migration and
human tra≤cking. Because these issues are closely
intertwined, human security emphasizes the need
for multi-sectoral responses and collaboration
among all stakeholders. Moreover, it aims to bridge
the gaps between security, humanitarian assistance,
human rights and development aid.
Abstract: The Mediation Practice Series (MPS) was initiated in 2008 as
part of the HD Centre’s efforts to support the broader mediation
community. Based on the shared view that mediators often confront similar
dilemmas although mediation differs widely across peace
processes, the HD Centre has decided to produce a series of
decision-making tools that draw upon the comparative experience
of track one mediation processes. As mediators consider engagement with armed groups they
face a variety of challenges and options – including whether it is
wise to engage at all. This contribution to the Mediation Practice
Series addresses engagement by those working toward peace
processes which involve formal interaction between leaders.
The focus is on the dilemmas, challenges and risks involved in a
mediator’s early contacts with an armed group and subsequent
engagement as interlocutor, message-carrier, adviser and/or
facilitator – all roles that may precede and accompany formal
negotiation between parties to a conflict.
The armed groups considered are those whose rebellion or
resistance explicitly challenges the authority of the state, rather
than the full spectrum of non-state armed groups (which would
include criminal organisations and gangs, as well as paramilitary
actors accountable to the state). The former claim their violence
is rooted in legitimate self-defence against the infringement of
their rights. Political in its origin – if at times criminal in its conduct
– armed action is pursued as a means to a political end. While
military pressure, or other actions by security forces, may be necessary to counter it, in almost all cases a lasting resolution to
the conflict will depend on some form of political accommodation
or agreement. Case studies include: The FMLN and the UN in El Salvador (p. 8-13), Dilemmas of talking to the Taliban (p. 13-14), Private mediators and the GAM
in Aceh (p. 15-18), Coping with pre-conditions
on Hamas (p. 20-23), The ICC and the LRA in conflict
at the peace table (p. 23-28), Case study : Norway and the LTTE (p. 28-29), Case study : Engaging the Maoists in Nepal (p. 31-35).
Abstract: This brief presents the progress to date in developing
a typology of wartime rape as a first step toward
understanding the different consequences of this form
of violence in war. This publication focuses solely on
wartime rape perpetrated by armed groups against
civilians, though this form of violence is perpetrated
more widely by, and against, different actors during
war. The wider perpetration of rape against other
actors is not presented in this brief, but is nevertheless
included in the Typology. The Typology is a product of
two phases of research: a) an initial phase (November
2008–May 2009) where a preliminary typology was
created based on an examination of two country
cases of wartime rape: Bosnia and Herzegovina,
and El Salvador; and b) a second phase (September
2009–May 2010) where the typology was refined
according to data collected from a review of the
literature on ten additional country cases of wartime
rape (Cambodia, Colombia, Democratic Republic
of the Congo, Liberia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea/
Bougainville, Peru, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Timor Leste).
The Typology was designed on the basis of a definition
of wartime, which includes a myriad of war dynamics
that surround and influence the perpetration of
rape, and which can be organized into the following
type of conflict in which wartime rape occurs;
characteristics of the armed group;
motivations for the rape;
characteristics of the rapist;
characteristics of the raped person; and
characteristics of the rape.
Abstract: While Mexico is having some limited success dealing with its spiraling conflict, vulnerable
States in Central America are struggling to keep the organized criminal groups at bay, even while
they face other challenges such as widespread gang activity. Problems are particularly acute in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, three States with vast
coastlines, large ungoverned spaces and the greatest proximity to Mexico. However, geography
is only part of the problem. Armed conflicts in Guatemala, El Salvador and parts of Honduras
between 1960 and the mid-1990s laid the foundations for the weapons trafficking, money
laundering and contraband traffic that we are witnessing today. This chapter is about drug trafficking organizations (DTO) operating in Central America. It is
broken down by theme rather than by country. It provides a brief history of DTO activity in the
region; descriptions of who operates the DTOs, both locally and internationally, and their modus
operandi; the use of street gangs in DTO activities; DTO penetration in government and security
forces; local, regional and international efforts and challenges as they try and combat DTOs. The
chapter is centered on the three countries where the problem of DTOs appears to be the most
acute: Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.
Abstract: A survey of the models of peace processes existing today
and in the immediate past will show how they are very
closely bound to the kinds of demands underlying each of
the conflicts. In other words, the underlying issue being
disputed is what determines the model of peace process. Following
this line of thought, we can distinguish between five
main models, namely reinsertion, power-sharing, exchange,
trust-building measures and self-governance. The first model, reinsertion, is the simplest, although
it is also not very frequent. It refers to cases in which the
armed group agrees to lay down its weapons in exchange
for facilities to help them reintegrate into society. The second model, one of the most frequent, which
involves political, economic and military power-sharing,
takes place when the armed groups seek to attain the power
to take over the political steering of a country and from
there run all the economic and military affairs. The third model is what we call exchange, in which
peace is achieved in exchange for something else. A fourth model of peace process, though not a common
one, is based on creating confidence-building measures. Finally, the fifth model involves achieving some kind
of self-governance in regions with demands for autonomy
or independence; this is called “intermediate political
Abstract: At the end of the first decade of the 21st century, the United States is involved in two ongoing wars, faces a significant international terrorist threat, and is witnessing an escalation of international resistance to its leadership of the global world order. Looking out to 2025, many see the potential for a prolonged period of instability as a result of competing economic models, demographics, the rise of new international actors and the resurgence old ones, climate change, and the scarcity of resources. The range of stability challenges will stretch the capabilities of any military force structure and require innovative thinking on the part of policymakers and military professionals alike on the appropriate development and use of the military element of power. In this anthology, 16 students of the U.S. Army War College Class of 2008 offer their perspectives on the use of military power across the spectrum of conflict in the 21st century, short of or following general war, and provide insights into the necessary force structure, policy, strategy, and doctrinal approaches for future success. Beyond a focus on operations short of general war, these writings share in common a worthwhile idea or set of ideas that can materially contribute to how the U.S. military can best conduct full spectrum operations. Collectively, these essays reveal the innovative thinking and diversity and depth of thought of the U.S. and foreign military and civilian agency personnel that comprise each student body at the U.S. Army War College as they prepare themselves to become senior leaders and fulfill their roles in their militaries or agencies.
Abstract: Over the past twenty years, international donors have invested in large-scale disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) programs. In the same period, there has been a proliferation of transitional justice measures to help render truth, justice, and reparations in the aftermath of state violence and civil war. Yet DDR programs are seldom analyzed to consider justice-related aims; and transitional justice mechanisms rarely articulate strategies for coordinating with DDR. Disarming the Past: Transitional Justice and Ex-combatants examines how these two types of initiatives have connected — or failed to connect — in peacebuilding contexts, and begins to articulate how future DDR programs ought to link with transitional justice aims. This book includes: Introduction: Linking DDR and Transitional Justice, by Lars Waldorf; Chapter 1: Amnesties and DDR Programs, by Mark Freeman; Chapter 2: Beyond “Peace vs. Justice”: Understanding the Relationship Between DDR Programs and the Prosecution of International Crimes, by Eric Witte; Chapter 3: Ex-Combatants and Truth Commissions, by Lars Waldorf; Chapter 4: Establishing Links Between DDR and Reparations, by Pablo de Greiff; Chapter 5: Transitional Justice and Female Ex-Combatants: Lessons Learned from International Experience, by Luisa Maria Dietrich Ortega; Chapter 6: DDR, Transitional Justice, and the Reintegration of Former Child Combatants, by Roger Duthie and Irma Specht; Chapter 7: Local Justice and Reintegration Processes as Complements to Transitional Justice and DDR, by Roger Duthie; and Chapter 8: Transitional Justice, DDR, and Security Sector Reform, by Ana Cutter Patel.
Abstract: Peace agreements form a crucial entry point for security sector reform (SSR). However, there has been little consistency in the way that security sector reform provisions have been approached (or implemented) in peace agreements. This report is the result of a research project which examines peace agreements from eight countries in Africa (Mozambique, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Sudan, Burundi, DRC, Sierra Leone and Liberia), two from Central America (El Salvador and Guatemala) and one from Asia (East Timor). The report demonstrates that there is a potentially high price to be paid for failing to integrate issues of SSR into peace negotiations and agreements at the very outset, or for doing so in a selective and shallow manner. The risks are detailed and recommendations for future provisions in peace agreements are presented.
Abstract: In spite of the fact that UN peacekeeping operations are a relative new field for scholarly research,
the literature on the subject has grown into a substantial body. This article distils from
this body of scholarly literature eleven clusters of factors for success and failure for UN
peacekeeping operations in general and tests these on four case studies – Cambodia, Mozambique,
Rwanda and El Salvador – of one particular type of UN peacekeeping operation: the
UN peace-building operations. It concludes that although the results of the four cases of UN
peace-building operations largely confirm the factors for success and failure as found in literature
for UN peacekeeping operations in general, theory on UN peace-building operations
still needs adjustment and fine tuning. Amongst others, it appears from the cases that two
factors that receive a lot of attention in literature – the non-use of force by the operation and
the need for a clear and detailed mandate – are less important.
Abstract: Throughout the 1980s, the United States assisted the Salvadoran government in keeping the leftist FMLN insurgency under control. A U.S. military advisory group comprised primarily of Special Forces troops advised and trained the Salvadoran military to reach hearts and minds through civil defense and civic action campaigns.
On October 12, 1983, militant Marxists carried out a violent coup against the moderate Marxist government. The United States resolved to rescue six hundred American medical students, restore popular government, and deny Cuba greater involvement in Grenada.
There was no Civil Affairs planning prior to the invasion of Grenada, but the Civil Affairs teams that were deployed improvised with reasonable success. The U.S. military focused on rebuilding Grenadian infrastructure that had fallen into disrepair under the Bishop regime of 1979-1983.
When General Manuel Noriega of Panama lost the 1989 election, he installed himself as head of government. Following the death of a U.S. marine, President George H.W. Bush ordered the invasion of Panama to protect U.S. interests and remove Noriega from power. Civil-military objectives in Panama were to support U.S. military forces in establishing law and order, to support to the new central government and city governments, to manage a refugee camp, and to assist in nation building programs. CA units successfully carried out several missions despite imperfections in civil-military planning.
Abstract: Because of their growing membership and globalization, urban youth gangs have become a public security threat that must be addressed. Gangs once provided outlets for marginalized youths to socialize, control territory, and release aggression. More recently, some have evolved into informally affiliated international criminal networks. Two predominantly Hispanic gangs -- Calle 18 and Mara Salvatrucha -- began to proliferate in Los Angeles during the 1960s and now have fraternal links to some 130,000 to 300,000 members in Mexico and Central America and have expanded across the United States to major cities and rural communities on the Eastern Seaboard. Gang activities range from defending neighborhood turf to armed robbery, extortion, alien smuggling, and arms and drug trafficking. Gangs provide a handy supply of young collaborators for organized crime. Their transnational nature is facilitated by fluid migration across porous national borders, incarceration with experienced criminals in U.S. prisons, and the weak rule of law in Mexico and Central America. Although no hard evidence links them with terrorist networks, transnational gangs are a potential menace to the stability of North American neighbors of the United States.
Abstract: The following case study of state responses to
disasters in El Salvador was undertaken in the
context of a broader project on ‘The Role of Affected
States in Humanitarian Action’, overseen by the
Overseas Development Institute. It sets out to
examine the degree to which the Salvadoran state,
in the aftermath of decades of conflict, assumed
responsibilities for meeting humanitarian needs
during three natural disasters that affected the
country between 2001 and 2005, and how the
state’s response has evolved since 2005. The
analysis encompasses the actions of international
aid actors and donors during these disasters, and
their past and current support for state mechanisms
for prevention and preparedness. Research was
carried out during a ten-day mission to El Salvador
in November 2007. The researcher interviewed key
actors in government, NGOs and international
agencies. In addition, the researcher assembled
extensive materials relating to the events and
analysing the consequences of national and
Abstract: The 110th Congress has maintained a keen interest in the effects of crime and
gang violence in Central America and its spillover effects on the United States. Since
February 2005, more than 2,000 alleged members of the violent Mara Salvatrucha
(MS-13) gang have been arrested in cities across the United States. These arrests
have raised concerns about the transnational activities of Central American gangs,
and governments throughout the region are struggling to find the right combination
of suppressive and preventive policies to deal with them. Some analysts assert that
increasing U.S. deportations of individuals with criminal records to Central American
countries may be contributing to the gang problem.
Several U.S. agencies have been actively engaged on both the law enforcement
and preventive side of dealing with Central American gangs. An inter-agency
committee worked together to develop a U.S. Strategy to Combat Criminal Gangs
from Central America and Mexico, which was announced at a July 2007 U.S.-Central
American Integration System (SICA) summit on security issues. The strategy, which
is now being implemented, states that the U.S. government will pursue coordinated
anti-gang activities through five broad areas: diplomacy, repatriation, law
enforcement, capacity enhancement, and prevention.
During the first session of the 110th Congress, several Members introduced
immigration legislation – H.R. 1645 (Gutierrez), S. 330 (Isakson), and S. 1348
(Reid) – that included provisions to increase cooperation among the United States,
Mexico, and Central America in the tracking of gang activity and in the handling of
deported gang members. However, none of those bills were enacted. On October 2,
2007, the House passed H.Res. 564 (Engel) supporting expanded cooperation
between the United States and Central America to combat crime and violence. The
Consolidation Appropriations Act, FY2008 (H.R. 2764/P.L. 110-161), included the
provision of $8 million to the State Department to combat criminal youth gangs, $3
million more than the Administration’s request.
In June 2008, Congress appropriated $60 million for Central America in the
FY2008 Supplemental Appropriations Act, H.R. 2642 (P.L. 110-252). Those funds
will serve as initial funding for the Mérida Initiative, a new anticrime and counterdug
aid package for Mexico and Central America. With that funding, the State
Department reportedly plans to use roughly $13 million to support direct anti-gang
efforts, with another $4 million included for justice sector reform, $8.6 million for
police reform, and $18 million for related development programs.
This report describes the gang problem in Central America, discusses country
and regional approaches to deal with the gangs, and analyzes U.S. policy with respect
to gangs in Central America. It will be updated periodically. For more information
on the Mérida Initiative, see CRS Report RS22837, Merida Initiative: U.S. Anticrime
and Counterdrug Assistance for Mexico and Central America. For information on
the activities of Central American gangs in the United States, see CRS Report
RL34233, The MS-13 and 18th Street Gangs: Emerging Transnational Gang Threats.
Abstract: Poorer countries are less safe than rich ones. Most of the world’s
current armed conflicts are raging in the global South, and more
than one-third of all countries mired in poverty have experienced
war since the late 1990s. The same patterns hold true for criminal violence:
many poorer countries—and an alarming number of medium-income
states—are exposed to high rates of homicide, armed assault, and
victimization associated with collective or criminal violence.
The international community has been relatively slow to act on this linkage
between armed violence and human development. While it is widely
recognized that security is necessary for development, and that underdevelopment
can lead to insecurity, there is little analysis of how improved
security can enhance human development. The anecdotal experience is
clear: armed violence disrupts markets; displaces populations; destroys
schools, clinics, and roads; and scars families, communities, and societies.
More than 500,000 people die violently every year, most of them in the
developing world, and the vast majority as a result of small arms and light
weapons. And high levels of armed violence undermine aid effectiveness.
This background paper is intended to assist policy-makers and practitioners
to better understand the relevance of armed violence prevention and
reduction to their daily work. It also highlights the efforts of an important
multilateral initiative designed to help reduce the global burden of armed
violence around the world. The Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and
Development adopts a three-track approach to achieving measurable
reductions in armed violence by 2015. A core group of 12 countries are
leading the development of concrete measures concerning (1) advocacy,
dissemination, and coordination; (2) mapping and monitoring; and (3)
practical programming. The paper also signals a number
of ways to engage with the issue
of armed violence, especially in
the development sector, and
offers recommendations to
advance the agenda. It focuses
on (i) defining armed violence; (ii)
reviewing the different contexts
of armed violence; (iii) considering the state of research on linkages
between armed violence and development; (iii) international responses;
(iv) policy and programming gaps; (v) the function of the Geneva Declaration
and its measuring and programming components; and (vi) recommendations.
In this way, the paper offers a template for concerted action.
Abstract: Although all countries, in theory report their authorized transfers - and
such information may even be available in certain public databases - the
task of providing an overview of SALW transfers, their parts and
munitions, is an arduous one. Nonetheless, despite the difficulties, we
have some extremely positive initiatives on a global scale, such as for
example, the Small Arms Survey, recognized as an important source of
information, especially on SALW production and transfers, as well as the
Norwegian Initiative on Small Arms Transfers (NISAT) which has a
database containing transfer records going back to 1962.Despite these
important initiatives, themselves when researchers, activists and policy
makers try to understand a regional market, such as Latin America and
the Caribbean, they encounter a dearth of information. With the intent of addressing this shortcoming, En La Mira has, since 2007, dedicated an
issue to transfers of SALWs, parts and ammunition in this region. Further, according to statistics from the United Nations Commodity Trade
Statistics Database (UN-Comtrade or Comtrade), USD 6.7 billion were
exported between 2004 and 2006, while USD 6.5 billion were imported.
Despite the fact that Latin America and the Caribbean represent 6% and
3%, respectively, of total transfers worldwide during this period, 42% of
firearms related homicide is committed in the region. This discrepancy
between the international transfer volume share and the levels of armsrelated
violence in Latin America and the Caribbean calls attention to
itself, above all because of the tragic and startling number of homicides.
Obviously, far from wishing to increase arms transfers in order to be more
in sync with homicide rates, we decided, a year ago, to study this issue
and periodically monitor its development based on our interest in
understanding the primary legal entry and exit routes of firearms and
ammunition. The result is a report - based on customs information as
stated by Latin American and Caribbean countries and their respective
partners - whose objective is to describe the movement of the SALW
imports and exports, as well as ammunition and parts, during the present
decade. Based on this data, we answer the following questions: who
exported and who imported? From whom? What? And when?
It is worth restating that the intent of this report is not to explain the
cause of arms imports and exports by Latin American countries. Beyond
merely providing information, we do indeed wish to awaken, by means of
the information presented here, the curiosity of other researches, activists
and government staff members such that they may continue to perform research in their countries regarding the transparency of this information,
on who is using the transferred SALW, and how.
The data used for this report came from the NISAT database, which
contains more than 800,000 entries for SALW transfers worldwide since
1962. The NISAT database gets its information from different sources,
COMTRADE among them. In this study we decided to restrict ourselves
to data from this latter source because, in theory, all countries report
transfers to the UN. This data is declared in accordance with the
Harmonized System (SH) merchandise classification system. The HS has
existed since 1988and, in 2007, was revised for the fourth time; previous
revisions were in 1992, 1996 and in 2002. Regarding the period analyzed,
we are looking at data up until 2006, since at the time the study closed
this was the most recent year available on NISAT.
Abstract: U.S. policymakers have made securing and maintaining foreign contributions
to the stabilization and reconstruction of Iraq a major priority since the preparation
period for the launch of Operation Iraqi Freedom in March 2003. This report
highlights and discusses important changes in financial and personnel contributions
from foreign governments to Iraq since 2003.
To date, foreign donors have pledged an estimated $16.4 billion in grants and
loans for Iraq reconstruction, with most major pledges originating at a major donors'
conference in Madrid, Spain, in October 2003. However, only a small part of the
pledges have been committed or disbursed to the World Bank and United Nations
Development Group Trust Funds for Iraq. The largest non-U.S. pledges of grants
have come from Japan, the European Commission, the United Kingdom, Canada,
South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates. The World Bank, the International
Monetary Fund, Japan, and Saudi Arabia have pledged the most loans and export
Currently, 33 countries including the United States have some level of troops
on the ground in Iraq or supporting Iraq operations from nearby locations. Those
forces are working under the rubric of one of several organizations — the
Multi-National Force-Iraq (MNF-I), the NATO Training Mission-Iraq (NTM-I); or
the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI). Currently, the largest
troop contributors, in addition to the United States, are the United Kingdom, Georgia,
Australia, South Korea, and Poland. Some of these key contributors have announced
their intention to reduce or withdraw their forces from Iraq during 2008. The total
number of non-U.S. coalition troop contributions has declined since the early
stabilization efforts, as other countries have withdrawn their contingents or
substantially reduced their size.
Abstract: La Coalition pour la Cour Pénale Internationale (CPI) - un réseau de plus de 2.500 organisations non gouvernementales de la société civile dans 150 pays- a invité aujourd'hui le Salvador, le Guatemala et le Nicaragua à rejoindre le reste de l'Amérique latine et des Caraïbes en démontrant leur engagement pour la justice internationale et l'état de droit en ratifiant le Statut de Rome de la Cour Pénale Internationale (CPI). La CCPI a choisi de concentrer ses efforts durant le mois d'août 2008 sur ces trois pays comme éléments de la Campagne de Ratification Universelle.
Abstract: La violence armée est un problème social qui touche des communautés du monde entier. Les pays font face à ce phénomène en
adoptant diverses stratégies de réduction de la violence armée. En Colombie, l’augmentation de la présence policière dans les
centres urbains et de la présence militaire à l’extérieur des villes tendent à dissuader les crimes et la violence ainsi qu’à améliorer
le respect des lois et le maintien de l’ordre. Plusieurs pays d’Amérique latine ont prohibé l’alcool pendant les élections et les jours
fériés, réduit le temps d’ouverture des bars, ou ont modifié les lois sur l’alcool dans le but de réduire le grand nombre d’actes de
violence liés à l’abus d’alcool. Des observatoires chargés d’enregistrer les actes de violence armée ont été créés en Jamaïque et au
Burundi dans le but d’offrir une meilleure connaissance de cette violence et d’orienter les stratégies de prévention. Une importante
question subsiste pourtant : qu’est ce qu’une intervention efficace de prévention de la violence armée? Il n’existe toujours
pas de réponse claire à cette question.
Le chapitre commence par examiner le spectre des interventions déjà existantes visant à lutter contre la violence armée. Deux
cas d’études sont ensuite présentés : les Etats-Unis et le Salvador. Les deux études identifient les stratégies que chaque pays a
adoptées pour lutter contre la violence armée. La fin du chapitre présente une série de leçons apprises depuis la fin des années
Abstract: Central America has the reputation of being a violent region with high crime rates, youth gangs, drug traffic, and ubiquitous insecurity. Politicians, the media, and social scientists in and outside the region often claim that the societies are in complete agreement with their judgment of the situation and that all society members are calling for law and order and social segregation. Focusing on Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Nicaragua, the paper analyzes the social perception of violence and crime. On the basis of essays written by secondary school students and interviews with citizens from all walks of life in the three countries, the paper points out how elite arguments on violence and crime are translated into
everyday life, and what society members suggest be done to deal with these problems. The sources prove that there are noticeable hegemonic discourses on violence and crime in Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. Simultaneously, a majority of the respondents call for social and integrative solutions rather than the so-called “iron fist.” The repressive trend in Central American policies therefore does not necessarily receive the presumed affirmation asserted by many authorities on and in the region.
Abstract: The paper analyzes the social construction of youth violence in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and El Salvador on the one hand, and the related security policies of the three states, on the other. In each country, there is an idiosyncratic way of constructing youth violence and juvenile delinquency. Also, each country has its own manner of reaction to those problems. In El Salvador youths are socially constructed as a threat to security, and the state implements predominantly repressive policies to protect citizens against that threat. In Nicaragua and Costa Rica, where the social discourse on youth violence is less prominent, the state's policies are neither very accentuated nor very coherent, whether in terms of repressive or nonrepressive measures. There are strong relations and mutual influences between the public's fear (or disregard) of youth violence and the state's policies to reduce it.
Abstract: Émilie Ronflard est doctorante à l’EHESS (Paris). Elle vit et travaille à El Salvador depuis 2 ans et sa recherche de thèse porte sur les pandillas salvadoriennes. L’article que nous publions ci-dessous dénonce les préjugés et caricatures trop fréquentes et renouvelle les analyses proposées jusqu’à présent sur ce phénomène social.
Abstract: The United Nations and other international agencies conducted three major post-conflict peacebuilding operations in central America in the 1990s: in Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala. Like the many other international peacebuilding missions that were deployed during the 1990s, the operations in Central America aimed to assist local actors in the implementation of peace settlements after civil wars, and more generally to create the conditions for what UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has called a 'stable and lasting peace,' or a peace that is likely to endure for the foreseeable future. Peacebuilding, in other words, is more than merely the supervision of ceasefires among former combatants. According to both Annan and his predecessor, Boutros Boutros Ghali, the overarching goal of peacebuilding is to eliminate the underlying sources of conflict in a war-shattered state, in order to reduce the likelihood of renewed violence.