Gang Violence in Colombia, Mexico and El Salvador

Gang violence in Reynosa, Mexico Gang violence in Reynosa, Mexico

12 December 2017

Our new publication Gang Violence in Colombia, Mexico and El Salvador analyses three case studies of countries – Colombia, Mexico and El Salvador – that have stood out for their elevated rate of violence, violent homicides and criminal activities linked to confrontations between state forces and armed gangs or between armed gangs themselves.

‘These countries are severely scourged by the expansion of the phenomena of urban gangs, gang violence and organized crime’ underlines Dr Annyssa Bellal, Strategic Adviser on International Humanitarian Law at the Geneva Academy. ‘Violence is unprecedented not only in terms of number of casualties, but also in the form it takes. In such settings, the civilian population has been and still is subject to extortion, confinement, forced displacement, gender-based violence and recruitment of minors’ she adds.

For each country, the authors – Ana Balcazar Moreno, Ximena Mercedes Galvez Lima, Julie Lambin and Lina Rodriguez – provide an overview of the violence in the country and impact on the civilian population; an overview of the main gangs involved in the violence, their tactics, structure and levels of organization; and an analysis of the states’ responses.

‘What is really striking is that the number of civilian casualties linked to gangs’ violence and states’ responses to this violence might exceed those of major current armed conflicts’ stresses Annyssa Bellal. ‘While this article does not discuss the qualification of these violent situations under international law, it highlights the heavy weaponry used by armed gangs, the fact that some of them control sizeable territory and have the ability to conduct military operations, as well as the frequent involvement of the military in the repression’ she adds.

This publication will form part, along with other analysis of conflict situations, of the War Report 2017 which will be published at the beginning of 2018.

Gang Violence in Colombia Mexico and El Salvador

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Portrait of Nicolas Michel News

The Iran-United States Claims Tribunal Chooses Nicolas Michel, President of our Board, as its Next President

21 December 2017

Nicolas Michel will officially join the Iran-United States Claim Tribunal (IUSCT) in The Hague on 1 January 2018.

Read more

Workshop in Kiev on disability and armed conflict News

Disability and Armed Conflict in Ukraine: Training Local and Humanitarian Actors

3 December 2018

Our Senior Researcher Alice Priddy led last week a workshop in Kiev – in partnership with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Global Protection Cluster in Ukraine – on the protection of persons with disabilities living in the occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk.

 

Read more

Portrait of Lindsey Cameron Event

The importance and the Limits of International Law for Resolving Humanitarian Issues in Situations of Armed Conflict and Transitional Justice

25 September 2019, 18:00-20:00

In the face of a rapidly changing world, this opening lecture of the academic year by Lindsey Cameron will explore some of the current challenges for IHL and transitional justice.

Read more

Logo of the Atlas Network Event

Women's Perspective on a Career in International Law

25 September 2019, 12:30-14:00

This event, co-organized with the ATLAS Network will feature prominent women in international law. Coming from different professional backgrounds, they will share their experience and advice through an interactive discussion.

Read more

Somalia, explosion of a bomb in the Mogadishu's market place. Short Course

The Classification of Armed Conflicts

31 January - 14 February 2020

This short course aims to study, in depth, an emblematic example of the complexity of international humanitarian law and the challenges it raises: the classification of armed conflicts.

Read more

Syria,  Aleppo, great Umayyad mosque. Destructions. Short Course

The Interplay between International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

6-20 December 2019

This short course focuses on the specific issues that arise in times of armed conflict regarding the respect, protection and fulfilment of human rights. It addresses key issues like the applicability of human rights in times of armed conflict; the possibilities of restricting human rights under systems of limitations and derogations; and the extraterritorial application of human rights law.

Read more

Peru, Ayacucho, Forensic Institut. With the help of the prosecutor's office staff, families try to identify the clothes of their missing relatives. Project

Standards of Proof in Fact Finding

Completed in January 2013

Several ad hoc fact-finding and inquiry commissions have been established to assess some of the most serious situations of human rights and humanitarian law violations across the world. With such mechanisms gaining influence, the question arises of whether a minimum formal standard of proof (or degree of certainty) exists or is required when such bodies adjudicate on such serious matters.

Read more

doption of the Arms Trade Treaty by the UN General Assembly, 2 April 2013 Project

The Arms Trade Treaty

Completed in January 2013

The Geneva Academy team followed the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) negotiations and provided key information on the negotiations, notably via a daily blog.

Read more