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Latin America''s crime rates are astonishing by any standard--the region''s homicide rate is the world''s highest. This crisis continually traps governments between the need for comprehensive reform and the public demand for immediate action, usually meaning iron-fisted police tactics harking back to the repressive pre-1980s dictatorships.
In "Policing Democracy," Mark Ungar situates Latin America at a crossroads between its longstanding form of reactive policing and a problem-oriented approach based on prevention and citizen participation. Drawing on extensive case studies from Argentina, Bolivia, and Honduras, he reviews the full spectrum of areas needing reform: criminal law, policing, investigation, trial practices, and incarceration.
Finally, "Policing Democracy" probes democratic politics, power relations, and regional disparities of security and reform to establish a framework for understanding the crisis and moving beyond it.