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(Article of periodic en Anglais - 2012)

Document title

Private Security in Guatemala: Pathway to Its Proliferation

Authors(s) and Affiliation(s)

ARGUETA OTTO (1) ;
(1) GIGA Institut für Lateinamerika-Studien, Hamburg

Abstract

It has become common to explain the proliferation of private security services as causally determined by crime rates and institutional weakness. This article on the contrary argues that other explanatory factors need to be emphasised, especially for post-war societies: institutional trajectories and political processes. The article first presents the present situation of commercial and non-commercial private security services in Guatemala (private security companies as well as security neighbourhood committees). Against this background it reconstructs mechanisms and critical junctures through which the Guatemalan state had sourced out policing functions to the private sector during the war and traces the reinforcement of these mechanisms in post-war society. It argues that the proliferation of private security services is an outcome of the reinforcing of an institutional pattern of public security displacement to the private sphere. The continuity of self-defence and vigilante organisations thereby emerges as a stronger explanatory factor of the proliferation of private security services in post-war societies than their self-explained authorisation through high crime rates.

L’A. présente la situation actuelle des services de sécurité privés commerciaux et non-commerciaux au Guatémala. Il explique dans quelles circonstances l’Etat a délégué les fonctions de police au secteur privé durant la guerre et retrace le renforcement des mécanismes qui sous-tendent ce mouvement. Il conclut que la prolifération des services de sécurité privés (comme les mouvements d’auto-défense et les comités de quartiers) résulte de la politique de l’Etat favorisant la sphère publique en la matière

Source

Article of periodic

published at : Bulletin of Latin American research / ISSN 1470-9856

Editor : Blackwell , Oxford - ROYAUME-UNI (1995)

Millesime : 2012, vol. 31, no3 [pp. 320-335]
Published in 2012

Language

Anglais

Digital Object Identifier

Go to electronic document thanks to its DOI : 10.1111/j.1470-9856.2012.00734.x

© 2012 The Author. Bulletin of Latin American Research © 2012 Society for Latin American StudiesTous droits réservés © Prodig - Bibliographie Géographique Internationale (BGI), 2012
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