Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Militarization of Latin American Policing

Orlando Pérez writes at Latin America Goes Global on the militarization of policing in Latin America. There are three depressing conclusions:

First, having the military train the police or using the military itself for domestic policing leads to human rights abuses, such as higher homicide rates.

Second, crime doesn't go down.

Third, people support doing it anyway.

It's terrible yet popular, fueled by popular perceptions of police being overwhelmed. It is another example of needing to "do something." Its sounds tough and effective even though it isn't.

The U.S. context is different, but the vibe of militarization police with equipment is similar. It makes people feel like the police can be tougher on crime that way, but it leads to abuse. Even campus police are buying surplus military equipment! Police are trusted in the U.S. much more than in Latin America, but as we're seeing that support can erode.


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