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Criminal Armed Groups Compete with the State and Each Other

John P. Sullivan and Robert J. Bunker

Word on the Street (Urban Violence Research Network)

14 July 2022 Published (27 June 2022 Submitted)

Criminal Armed Groups (CAGs) in Brazil are engaged in violent competition with each other and the state. For Brazil, these conflicts not only engender high levels of violence among all participants but lead to actual and perceived insecurity that challenges perceptions of state legitimacy. This ‘credibility gap’ creates a vacuum where criminal enterprises provide criminal governance in places instead of (and actually in addition to) the state at all levels. The result is a patchwork of ‘stratified’ sovereignty where the various actors—state and criminal—vie for competitive control...

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