Last year, New York City's famous former mayor, Rudolph Giuliani, a proponent of tough punishments for minor infractions and hardline policing without civilian oversight—the zero tolerance approach to law enforcement—was invited by Mexico City's progressive mayor, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, to consult with the city government about its efforts to bring crime under control. Why would an advocate of unsupervised policing with no civilian review be hired to advise a leftist mayor in a city where the police are known to be responsible for half the crime? Giuliani's arrival in Mexico City draws attention to a bewildering paradox of mistaken origins and misguided solutions-a paradox that guides this NACLA Report on Crime, Disorder and Authoritarian Policing.
Looking out over the muddy banks of the Río Atrato, Mercedes tells of nightmares of mangled bodies, spiraling flames and the cries of dying children. Trying desperately to grasp the hands that reach out to her through the darkness, she awakens to nothing but silence.
Cathy Schneider & Paul E. Amar
Last year, New York City’s famous former mayor, Rudolph Giuliani, a proponent of tough punishments for minor infractions and hard-line policing without civilian oversight—the zero-tolerance approach to law enforcement—was invited by Mexico City’s progressive mayor, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, to consult with the city government about its efforts to bring crime under control.
They arrive from the airport every Wednesday on a government provided bus to the same central downtown destination. Tonight the total number is 46, 40 men and six women. Looking tired and somewhat bewildered, they descend the steps of the large, gray Hyundai bus.
The police in Latin America are not simply the instrument used to control the unrest afflicting much of the region. Amid record crime, political instability and social disintegration, they have become part of that unrest.
Tepito is the Casbah of Mexico City, shadowy and serpentine, its back alleys vanishing into sinister dead-ends. Here underground tunnels lead to thieves’ dens, and clandestine warehouses are stuffed with stolen goods.
“It may not be right,” the off-duty police officer said, “but it does make my job easier.” We were sitting in a small, rustic bar in Craig Town, one of Kingston’s “garrisons.”
Diane E. Davis
Residents of Mexico City have been suffering from a heightened sense of public insecurity for at least a decade. Robberies and muggings are relatively common occurrences, and many citizens fear the consequences of using automatic teller machines or hailing cabs on public thoroughfares, given the rise of “express kidnappings”—being forced to drive from ATM to ATM, usually at gunpoint, to withdraw cash.
Paul E. Amar
In April 2003, Brazil’s media convulsed with shocking and conflicting images, as they struggled to define new public debates on warfare—the war in Iraq “over there” and the war on narcotraffic and violent crime “at home.”
Jordi Pius Llopart
In October 2001, just a month after the terrorist attacks on Washington and New York, when questions of security were on the minds of public officials everywhere, the leftist mayor of Mexico City, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, surprised everyone by ceremoniously inviting the controversial soon-to-be ex-mayor of New York, Rudolph Giuliani, to advise the authorities of the Mexican megalopolis on the implementation of the no-less-controversial plan called “zero tolerance,” the idea that no crime is too small to be prosecuted.
Book Review Essay: The Argentina Reader: History, Culture, Politics. Edited by Gabriela Nouzeilles and Graciela Montaldo.
Conveying the complex enigmatic contradiction that is Argentina in the pages of a book is accomplished in this installment of Duke’s “Latin America Readers” series (Peru 1995, Brazil 1999, Mexico 2003, Cuba 2003).
The Colombian government and the nation’s largest paramilitary group the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) agreed on July 15 to peace talks.
¡YA! Youth Activism
Welcome to the inaugural installment of ¡YA! Youth Activism. As a now-recurring feature of the NACLA Report, this section will use varying formats to highlight youth organizations or young people who are active in issues of social justice in the Americas.