Coronavirus: narco gangs could see big popularity boost from helping residents in Latin America

Press/Media: Research


 The COVID-19 crisis provides a window of opportunity for organised crime organisations in Latin America to exert social control in local communities through actions of solidarity and care rather than traditional violent coercion. This new dynamic is increasing the legitimacy, power and social capital of gangs and drug cartels, helping them to co-opt civil society and the state to support their criminal operations. The pandemic also shows how poverty and inequality remain fundamental in shaping the building of the nation-state in the continent, where criminals act as a de facto state even without the virus and, in many areas, effectively replace the state. The coronavirus is making visible the ways in which organised crime groups cultivate civil society's support in delivering the provision of governance, order and public health in a time of lockdown and quarantine, making local ‘narco-gang’ governance profitable economically and politically

Period22 Jun 2020

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