Understanding gang-recruitment through selective incentives: the case of Honduras
Carmona Bozo, Victoria
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Since their origins in the 1960s, criminal organizations in Latin America have been responsible for brutal acts of violence in the region. However, very little is known about the specific mechanisms involved in their recruitment tactics. Empirical evidence demonstrates that the use of selective incentives is widespread among gangs to compel membership. This essay considers both the shape and character of Honduran gang members and attempts to highlight the complex phenomenon of gang recruitment. I will advance a twofold approach of the selective incentives theory of rebel recruitment to identify the significant mechanisms at play in the recruitment of citizens to join violent gangs. Understanding the processes of recruitment involved in the Honduran case will potentially contribute to better plan and execute interventions to reduce gang violence in the Northern Triangle countries (Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador) and Latin America at large.