More on Manwaring’s Book

One thing I forgot to mention about Manwaring’s book is this crucial point he makes:

The only way to fight these gangs and cartels successfully is to stop thinking about them as criminal gangs and to understand that these are transnational business organizations that are destroying state sovereignty. It’s been 30 years, parts of Mexico and Central America are turning into feudal enclaves where state authorities have no access, masses of people are being displaced, and the traditional crime-fighting techniques are not working.

There is currently a lot of politically motivated minimization of the maras’ impact but Manwaring wrote his book in 2007, and even back then it was already clear that the Northern Triangle and Mexico are headed in the direction of becoming failed states. We need to abandon the childish “if Trump says maras are dangerous, they must be innocent like daisies in the field” and look at reality. The gangs aren’t about fashion statements or “controlling the halls of a single high school.” These are terrifying organizations and calling them animals is a lot less racist and harmful than minimizing what they do with ridiculous chatter about fashion and school hallways.

4 thoughts on “More on Manwaring’s Book”

  1. If you follow the press in Mex / C.A. this isn’t news. Mex. has been fighting the cartels with the army since 2006 and that was because all of this was already such a problem. It is true, they’re transnational business organizations stronger than the state, and there’s a lot of smart analysis about the situation and it is hard to figure out what to do


  2. Does he or do you have any ideas how one may fight transnational business organizations?

    If one started fighting the gangs successfully as “transnational business organizations,” then legal organizations of new global capitalism would be liable to find themselves being endangered and restricted by the same process / tactics used against the gangs. Do I understand it right?

    If so, people in power may view international gang proliferation as one of the side effects of ‘doing business,’ especially since they are not the ones to pay the price.

    Regarding traditional crime-fighting techniques, have Mexico and Central America tried to use non-traditional techniques and suspend any citizen rights in an emergency situation? Is there a death sentence for those criminals? I am very ignorant.


  3. Yes and also these gangs are not always external to business and government. Suspend citizen rights, yes, and independence of military has weakened the state. Guatemala has the death penalty but there are extrajudicial killings in all of these countries.


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