Drawing on extensive ethnographic fieldwork and policy analysis, Mano Dura: The Politics of Gang Control in El Salvador examines the activities of three nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that have advocated for more nuanced policies to eradicate gangs and the societal issues that are both a cause and an effect of gang proliferation.
Mexico City-based author Sonja Wolf will describe the findings in her new book. Mano Dura and the ways in which the U.S. backed ARENA party used gang violence to solidify political power in the hands of the elite-culminating in draconian “iron fist” antigang policies that undermine human rights while ultimately doing little to address the roots of gang membership.
The foremost scholars from Washington-based think tanks and a former gang member will add their own insights. Your questions and comments are welcome.
Manuel Perez Rocha from the Institute of Policy Studies,
Lisa Haugaard, Director of Latin America Working Group (LAWG)
Geoff Thale, Washington Office on Latin America’s El Salvador Project Director,
Hector Silva, Au’s Center for Latin American and Latino Center, and
Luis Cardona, Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, Positive Youth Development Program, a former gang member.
Books will be available before and after the event.