Criminal violence and state responses in the Northern Triangle
Cabe, Clinton R.
Bruneau, Thomas C.
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This thesis analyzes the effect of high levels of criminal violence on military missions and civil–military relations. Specifically, it examines how the criminal violence in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras changed the militaries and subsequently altered the civil–military relations in each country. In order to determine the change, each country is evaluated in terms of military missions immediately after transitioning to a civilian democracy and then again in present day. Similarly, each country is then evaluated for the state of civil–military relations at the end of military authoritarianism, and then again in present day. The results of the research show that the militaries have changed in three distinct ways: 1) the overall missions have shifted from traditional to internal, 2) the equipment used and procured is best suited for internal missions, and 3) the doctrine and training of the militaries supports an internal role. The civil–military relations research shows that there is an imbalance as a result of the criminal violence. The violence minimized the time for civilians to fully establish defense knowledge and civilian-controlled institutions, such as the Ministry of Defense, resulting in a heavily involved and politicized military.
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