State approaches toward reducing youth violence in Honduras and Nicaragua
Preciado, Luis E.
Sotomayor, Arturo C.
Bruneau, Thomas C.
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Nicaragua and Honduras are neighbor countries situated in one of the most violent regions of the world. As such, they share many similarities, including geopolitics, a history of political violence and insurgency, as well as a repressive authoritarian past. In spite of the two countries’ similarities, their divergent policing and public security policies have led to equally divergent outcomes in crime and homicide rates. What factors explain this divergence? How effective are their respective policing and security policies in confronting the proliferation of violence among the youth of their nations? Analysis of these questions helps U.S. policy-makers gain greater understanding of the critical factors that are contributing to Central America’s escalating youth violence. By way of a most-similar systems approach, this thesis analyzes the aspects that either enable or degrade state efforts to address their youth gang crisis. In sum, building strong and accountable criminal justice institutions as well as addressing the socioeconomic challenges that confront youth populations are necessary preconditions for reducing youth violence. To assist our regional partners in restoring security to their nations, U.S. policymakers need to promote programs that help strengthen institutional capacities and expand social programs that assist at-risk youth.
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