Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Gangs An approach to understanding them and strategic proposals for resolving the conflicts they generate from the perspective of Conflictology

Eduard Vinyamata


Gangs, as such, are a contemporary phenomenon, with only a few years of history, appearing virulently in El Salvador at the end of the 1980s. In 2005, the city of Guayaquil, Ecuador, had some sixty thousand gang members; in El Salvador, around fifty thousand. At present, and including the United States, Mexico and Central American and South American countries, the population belonging to gangs may well surpass one million. Even though not all of them have a violent or criminal character, many of them do. This criminal activity increasingly resembles a civil war. A war without ideologies that seeks control or access to wealth and power through violent action. In this article we analyze the elements that favour the emergence of gangs, their characteristics, and possible ways on how to tackle down their violent activities from a conflict resolution perspective.

Text complet: PDF