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Youth gangs and violence in Latin America and the Caribbean : a literature survey (English)

Youth gangs are among the main features of the new landscape of violence in Latin America and the Caribbean. This paper surveys the literature and identifies possible elements of a conceptual framework through which to analyze Latin American and Caribbean youth gangs and their violence. Five distinct elements stand out from the available information on youth gangs: 1)The majority of youth gangs emerge in the context of urban poverty. 2) Specific local conditions and contexts play an important role in shaping youth gangs and their violence. 3) The nature of the links a youth gang has with its local community affects the degree to which its violence is directed against the inhabitants of this community. 4) There is weak evidence to suggest a link between the degree to which a youth gang is violent and its connection to drug-trafficking. 5) There is connection between international migration from the United Sates, youth gang formation, and the degree to which a gang is violent. The paper identifies four approaches to youth gang intervention: suppression, community organization, social intervention, and opportunity-providing.

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Citation

Rodgers, Dennis

Youth gangs and violence in Latin America and the Caribbean : a literature survey (English). Latin America and Caribbean Region sustainable development working paper ; no. 4. Urban peace program series Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group. http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/474291468770479198/Youth-gangs-and-violence-in-Latin-America-and-the-Caribbean-a-literature-survey