HomeNewsBriefExperts Seek End to Militarization of LatAm Policing
BRIEF

Experts Seek End to Militarization of LatAm Policing

POLICE REFORM / 25 SEP 2013 BY DANIELA CASTRO EN

Experts from across Latin American have criticized the lack of results produced by the militarization of law enforcement in the region, calling instead for police forces to be strengthened and reformed.

With militarization of the fight against crime high on the agenda in the region at the moment, prominent specialists from El Salvador, Guatemala, Chile, Mexico and Nicaragua met in Tegucigalpa, Honduras on September 24 for the forum “Security Sector Reform in Latin America, with emphasis on police institutions.”

The participants called for the reform and strengthening of police in the region, identifying them as the only force which can effectively reduce violence. Opposition was expressed to militarization not only because military involvement has not yielded the expected results in some places, but also because of human rights violations that have occurred, reported EFE.

InSight Crime Analysis

This forum takes place at a time when the militarization of law enforcement is a hot topic in the region. Several countries have pursued such a policy, however violent crime has not been significantly reduced and reports of human rights violations such as torture, disappearances and extrajudicial killings are common. 

The debate is particularly timely for Mexico and Honduras, which are both in the process of forming new military police forces in an attempt to get a grip on their security crises.

In Mexico, President Enrique Peña Nieto has continued to rely on the military to fight organized crime while he pushes ahead with plans for a new militarized police force, the gendarmerie. Throughout the country, the military retain more trust than the police, but have been implicated in serious human rights violations, and in some areas have become involved in organized crime.

Honduras has also attempted to address its security crisis through measures to militarize security forces, including the recent approval of the creation of a Public Order Military Police (POMP). It has also deployed the military to the streets of capital city Tegucigalpa and the world’s most dangerous city, San Pedro Sula, the results of which remain unclear.

The militarization of law enforcement has some advantages, particularly the circumvention of corrupt police and the capacity to carry out military-style operations against heavily armed organized crime groups. However, as the experts suggest, the results of such measures have so far been mixed and often accompanied by a high price to pay.

Compartir icon icon icon

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Related Content

ELITES AND CRIME / 30 JUN 2016

The United States has brought drug trafficking charges against six members of the Honduran National Police in connection with a…

HONDURAS / 16 JAN 2014

Almost $3 million has been spent on police reform in Honduras in the past two years, a sum that has…

COLOMBIA / 16 MAY 2014

Although peace talks between Colombia's government and the FARC rebels continue to move in the right direction, President Juan Manual…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…