Death Squads or Self-Defense Forces?: How Paramilitary by Julie Mazzei

By Julie Mazzei

In an period whilst the worldwide neighborhood is faced with demanding situations posed through violent nonstate organizations--from FARC in Colombia to the Taliban in Afghanistan--our figuring out of the character and emergence of those teams takes on heightened significance. Julie Mazzei's well timed research bargains a complete research of the dynamics that facilitate the association and mobilization of 1 of the main virulent forms of those firms, paramilitary teams (PMGs). Mazzei reconstructs in wealthy ancient context the association of PMGs in Colombia, El Salvador, and Mexico, opting for the variables that jointly create a triad of things allowing paramilitary emergence: ambivalent nation officers, robust army team of workers, and privileged individuals of the industrial elite. countries embroiled in household conflicts usually locate themselves caught among a rock and a difficult position whilst international calls for for human rights contradict inner expectancies and calls for for political balance. Mazzei elucidates the significance of such situations within the emergence of PMGs, exploring the jobs performed by means of pursuits and regulations at either the family and overseas degrees. by way of delivering an explanatory version of paramilitary emergence, Mazzei offers a framework to facilitate better coverage making aimed toward mitigating and undermining the political efficiency of those harmful forces.

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Extra resources for Death Squads or Self-Defense Forces?: How Paramilitary Groups Emerge and Challenge Democracy in Latin America

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Hidalgo 1997:2) Thus while White Guards defended property, paramilitaries defend the pri party dominance that (a) protects the large property holders from land redistribution, and (b) assigns a status and a power via land. ” (Arronte, Castro Soto, and Lewis 2000:112). Due to the political objective, unlike the Guardias Blancas, paramilitaries are not reactive or defensive in nature; they are proactive and organized for the purpose of offensive attacks. Paramilitaries do not select targets because they physically threaten belongings or property, they strike against those who ideologically and po36 chiapas litically threaten the regional power structure.

The roles of the patron and his laborers is at the heart of the broader “patron-client” concept used to describe vertical power relationships characterized by reciprocity between individuals or positions of unequal resources, power, or status. The patrón system in Chiapas clearly defines the social and economic order based on one’s land (or lack thereof), and thus identified one’s “place,” one’s power or powerlessness. The rancher  chiapas 29 became the patrón to his indigenous laborers, controlling most aspects of their lives (Collier and Quaratiello 1999:22).

In 1542, an indigenous uprising in the community of Pochotla resulted in the deaths of “priests and taxmen” (Ross 1995:66). In 1712, Tzeltal and Tzotzil communities rebelled against their landlords and subsequently against the Catholic Church, particularly targeting the priests who had been charging high fees for sacraments (Collier and Quaratiello 1999:22). The dispossessed status of the indigenous did not change either with Mexico’s independence from Spain (1821) or the annexation of Chiapas to Mexico (1824), nor did the peasant resistance against domination.

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