Between the violent war on drugs and the murder rate in Mexico steadily increasing each year, citizens have experienced an inconcievable amount of devastation in recent years. In 2014, 43 college students were kidnapped and allegedly murdered while attending a protest in Iguala, Mexico. The parents of the young adults were never given credible answers as to what happened to their children, but now five years later the search for the truth has begun again.
A violência no Brasil vem atingindo níveis alarmantes. Nos últimos meses, uma série de rebeliões em presídios das regiões Norte e Nordeste do país ganhou as capas dos noticiários internacionais. Facções criminosas travam disputas sangrentas pelo controle do tráfico de drogas dentro e fora das prisões locais, muitas vezes com resultados assustadores. Mas esta não é a única crise de violência que o país enfrenta.
Out of the 25 countries in the world with the highest rates of violence against women in the world, 14 of them are in Latin America and the Caribbean (UN Women). Of the top 10 countries considered to be the most dangerous for females, 7 are in Latin America (UN Women). These disturbing statistics have led people to question what exactly it is about Latin America that makes it so prone to this form of violence—and what, if anything, can be done to change this pattern.
In September 2017, Brazil’s military was deployed to manage the chaos between rival drug gangs in the Rocinha favela in Rio de Janeiro. The violence escalated to the point where the airspace over the favela was shut down. Schools, businesses, and streets were on lockdown with residents hiding in their homes using social media to communicate the events outside. The 950 soldiers deployed to the community suspect the infamous ruling drug lord Antonio Bonfim Lopes aka Nem to be behind the violence from inside prison.
On August 13th Cándido Ríos Vazquez, a Mexican journalist, uploaded a video to his Facebook page. In it, he denounced a number of suspected corrupt government officials for illegal utilization of government funding and electoral fraud.
The combination of high levels of political violence with a relative low number of inter-state armed conflicts has been a secular trend of Latin American history. The 2017 Armed Conflict Survey of the London-based International Institute for International Studies (IIIS) confirms the continuity of that historical pattern –which also happens to confirm a global tendency.
The scandalous financing of several municipal candidates by the Gulf Cartel in Reynosa and Matamoros in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas in 2012[i] have not been isolated phenomena. Many news media have reported the intrusion of narcos in local (municipal) elections by not only financing specific candidates, but also by threatening or assassinating candidates. Why have narcos been investing resources to interfere in municipal elections?