On January 23, 2003, Dennis Rodgers, a lecturer in development studies in the London School of Economics, visited CERLAC. Rodgers is a social anthropologist by training who has a particular interest in, and expertise on, issues related to violence and crime, youth gangs, urban poverty, and international migration in Latin America (Nicaragua, Argentina, and Colombia) and South Asia (India). This following are excepts taken directly from Rodgers’ lecture notes, in which he explored the pandilla, or youth gang, phenomenon in contemporary urban Nicaragua. Based on fourteen months of ethnographic fieldwork carried out in a low income Managua neighbourhood in 1996-1997 and 2002, he traced the emergence and evolution of the Nicaraguan gang phenomenon, focusing on the role of gangs as social institutions and their multifarious ramifications for the constitution of social order in a wider context of urban poverty and social breakdown such as characterizes contemporary urban Nicaragua
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