La “Mano Dura”
Promises of “mano dura” approaches are attractive to public opinion. Authoritarian and populist leaders often use them, as they sound “morally fair” and action-oriented.
Despite their immense popularity, “mano dura” interventions are rarely effective. These measures often fail to reduce the indicators of insecurity, lower impunity, deter the occurrence of new crimes or prevent recidivism. While these measures appear to provide decisive action on the part of politicians and police chiefs, they are economically inefficient. In addition, they often have unforeseen consequences such as stigmatization and violation of the rights of young people living in marginalized communities.
This document analyzes the characteristics of “mano dura”, based on what happened in the United States and the countries of Latin America, evaluating the costs and benefits associated with punitive measures, taking into account human and material factors.Read the PDF