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Vigilantes

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Guatemala Self-Defense Groups Reminder of Security Concerns

Authorities in Guatemala fear that self-defense groups operating in response to a lack of state presence may turn into criminal organizations engaged in illicit...
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In El Salvador, a Thin Line Between Community Policing and Vigilantism

Authorities in El Salvador are keen to expand a much-praised local policing model believed to have helped two rural communities tackle bloody gang control. But a...
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Why Latin America Dominates Global Homicide Rankings

Year after year, Latin America and the Caribbean dominate global city and country homicide rankings. But what sets this corner of the world apart from the rest? And...
The vehicle in which three suspects were shot and killed by Mexican police
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Apparent Extrajudicial Execution in Mexico Adds to the Growing List

A video of what appears to be a series of extrajudicial killings by a Mexican police officer in the border city of Reynosa is yet another example of how a...
Self-Defense groups in Mexico have emerged in the last decade - the government response has been inconsistent
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Mexico Authorities Schizophrenic on Self-Defense Groups

The presence of armed civilian self-defense groups across Mexico will only cause "anarchy," according to the country's interior minister. His recent comments...
Scene at suspected death squad massacre
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El Salvador Strikes against Death Squads Led by Army, Police

Police and army officials were among those arrested in El Salvador's biggest opperation against anti-gang death squads in recent memory, as the authorities finally...
Men detained and wounded by the "justicieros"
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Mexico Vigilantes Use Gruesome Facebook Video to Promote Their Cause

A self-defense group in Mexico has turned to social media to boast about its members' efforts to take justice into their own hands, a reminder of the complex role...
Police forces in Mexico's state of Michoacán
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Mexico Police Killings Illustrate Failures of Vigilantism in Michoacán

Police forces in Mexico's state of Michoacán have increasingly been subject to attacks, a reminder of the ongoing security crisis affecting the region and the...
El Salvador Legislative Assembly President Guillermo Gallegos
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Bad Idea: El Salvador Discusses Arming Civilians to Combat Crime

The heads of El Salvador's executive and legislative branches are discussing the possibility of having the state arm community groups in the country's interior in...
Example of self defense group in Michoacán
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El Salvador Self-Defense Group Poses Potential Security Concerns

A self-defense group operating in a rural community of El Salvador is asking for formal legal recognition, a reminder of security concerns elsewhere in the...
A wounded Venezuelan police officer
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Venezuela Security Forces Were Killed in Record Numbers in 2016

More than one police officer or military soldier was killed per day in Venezuela in 2016, a figure that highlights the steadily degrading security situation for...
A sign in Venezuela warning that thieves will be lynched
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Lynchings Jump 650% in Venezuela in 2016

A major rise in lynchings in Venezuela last year reflects the degradation of a country in multi-layered...