In recent months, the São Paulo state government has been attempting an almost Herculean task: limiting the power of Brazil's largest prison gang, the First Capital Command (PCC). But success in the long run will require deep structural reforms in the judicial and penal systems.
A battle for control of a favela between members of the Terceiro Comando Puro and Comando Vermelho offers a perfect illustration of the nature of criminal control and gang conflict in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. While it is popular to conceptualize violence in the city as the result of battles between rival criminal groups and police, battles for local criminal dominance are also key.
After months of delay, Uruguay is finally on the verge of becoming the first country to regulate every aspect of the black market for marijuana. Getting the marijuana regulation bill through Congress required pressure from civil society and considerable arm-twisting within the ruling Frente Amplio (FA) coalition, but the hardest part for the government is yet to come.
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