Who Runs Guatemala?

Who Runs Guatemala? - In Guatemala, an average of 99.5 murders were reported per week at the end of 2012, the number of missing persons cases reported has increased 156 percent between 2009 and 2012, and the number of armed robbery and sexual assault incidents is high (Guatemala 2013 Crime and Safety Report). Guatemala’s domestic security is tenuous at best. When the state’s laws are regarded with so little respect as in Guatemala, German sociologist Max Weber’s concept of the state as a “community that (successfully) claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory” is called into question (78 Weber). This paper seeks to understand whether the state in a Weberian sense still exists in Guatemala, or whether alternative bodies have taken the stat’s place. Specifically, this paper will limit analysis of alternative bodies’ use of physical force to the non-state actor Cuerpos Illegales y Aparatos Clandestinos (CIACS) and its affiliate bodies.


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