Society for Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology
Oral Presentation Session
Paramilitary forces that operate to repress citizens and whose tactics are similar to professionally trained state sanctioned military personnel and police but not formally associated with the state stretches an understanding of the state as being the monopolizer of legitimate violence. What is legitimate about armed enforcers that surveil, control, repress, and otherwise exercise vicious political violence against non-state groups under the tacit complicity of the state. Why would a state resort to reliance upon such domestic non-state political actors? In Nicaragua, many people were surprised not only by the ferocity of paramilitaries deployed against the civilian population following the April 19th, 2018 civil uprising, but how this was considered an anomaly and not in keeping with the new Nicaragua. A socio-historical examination of paramilitaries discloses how ubiquitous deployment of intra-state paramilitaries (local militias, irregular armed forces, `divine mobs’, etc.) has been throughout Nicaraguan history.