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Desacatos

On-line version ISSN 1607-050X

Abstract

WINTON, Ailsa. Violent Groups in Central America: the Institutionalization of Violence. Desacatos [online]. 2011, n.37, pp. 111-124. ISSN 1607-050X.

This article analyses the particularities of the institutional landscape in relation to the transformation and continuation of violence in contemporary Central America, arguing that one of the most significant aspects of this violence is the existence of a wide range of violent institutions and groups -state, private, civil, formal, informal, criminal-, and that these institutions are connected in various ways and at different scales. These connections or links, and the systemic introduction of these groups, that leads us to argue that violence and the groups that exercise it are becoming institutionalized to an alarming degree, something that constitutes an important element in the analysis of contemporary violence in the region.

Keywords : violence; Central America; violent groups; gangs; institutionalization.

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