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Explaining violence and social disorganization in Ciudad Juarez

Originally published in Freedom From Fear.

By Robert Muggah and Carlos Vilalta

Destabilizing factors in urban settings

The most visible manifestations of urban violence encompass physical and psychological harm against persons – from homicide to other forms of victimization. For more than a century social scientists have also studied the ways in which violence reconfigures social and spatial relations and triggers cycles of insecurity and fear that span generations.

There is also evidence that “structural” forms of urban violence arising from the degradation of urban economies and austerity measures can equally contribute to a “break down” in social life leading to new forms of violence. An especially disconcerting manifestation of urban violence is found in Mexico.

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