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Due to its geographic location between the world’s cocaine suppliers and its main consumers, Central America has been exposed to exogenous organised crime pressures that would be challenging for countries many times as large. Unfortunately, the region is particularly vulnerable to incursion by organised crime due to a range of domestic factors, and this report opens by considering several of these, including social and economic pressures, lack of law enforcement capacity, and a history of conflict or authoritarian rule. It then looks at the nature of organised crime and violence in the region in some detail. Finally, it considers how the crime problem is undermining development efforts.

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