Discourses on violence in Costa rica, el Salvador and nicaragua: National patterns of attention and cross-border discursive nodes

Abstract
It has become common to state that youth gangs and organized crime have seized Central America. For theories on contemporary Central American violence, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Nicaragua present important test cases, demonstrating the need to differentiate the diagnosis. First, national discourses on violence differ from country to country, with varying threat levels, patterns of attention, and discursive leitmotivs. Second, there are border-crossing discursive nodes such as the mara paradigm, the perception of grand corruption, and gender-based violence tied to cross-national, national or sub-national publics. The paper explores the ambiguity and plurivocality of contemporary discourses on violence, from a variety of hegemonic and less powerful publics.
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