Reviewing the Costs and Benefits of Mano Dura Versus Crime Prevention in the Americas

  • Robert Muggah
Part of the Palgrave Handbooks in IPE book series (PHIPE)


There are signs of growing resistance to repressive approaches to crime prevention—so-called mano dura—in Latin America and the Caribbean. Faced with spiralling violence and comparatively high spending on public security, alternatives to mano dura started emerging in the late 1990s. Progressive mayors, industry leaders, scholars, and civil society groups have initiated a host of city-based interventions, building what are called “citizen security” strategies from the ground-up. This chapter considers the intended and unintended consequences of mano dura in Latin America and the opportunities for alternative approaches to preventing and reducing violent crime. In highlighting the costs and benefits of prevention, it makes a case for strengthening citizen security measures across the region.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Muggah
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Igarapé InstituteRio de JaneiroBrazil
  2. 2.SecDev Foundation and SecDev GroupOttawaCanada
  3. 3.Singularity UniversityMoffett FieldUSA

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