Covid-19 is transforming organized crime. In addition to heightening the risk of violence, the pandemic is also indirectly strengthening the social, economic, and political clout of several criminal organizations in the same way that the Italian mafia and Japanese Yakuza emerged stronger after the great dislocations of the Second World War. Crime kingpins know full well that law enforcement and criminal justice systems are overstretched, and that prisons are bursting at the seams. They also know that an economic depression is coming, which may increase the risk of violence. It is not entirely clear if governments are similarly alert.
What is behind President Nayib Bukele’s display of military force in El Salvador’s congressional building?
With roughly 50,000 murders a year for the past decade, Brazil is one of the world’s most violent countries.