The views expressed in FMSO publications and reports are those of the authors and
do not necessarily represent the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.
Geopolitics and Urban Armed Conflict in Latin America
Small Wars and Insurgencies,
Vol. 6, No.1 (Spring 1995)
Introduction. Distinctive features of the largest or so-called "world cities," of which Latin America has several, include marked economic and social polarization and intense spatial segregation.l We also find what is probably an effect of these conditions: the complementary agendas and overlapping identities of a large array of anti-state actors. Anarchists, criminals, the dispossessed, foreign meddlers, cynical opportunists, lunatics, revolutionaries, labor leaders, ethnic nationals, real estate speculators and others can all form alliances of convenience. They can also commit acts of violence and handle ideas that provoke others. These ideas may be as specific as resisting a rise in bus fares, as immediate as an opportunity for looting following a mass celebration, or as broad as ethnic identity. While it might be difficult to prove that any of this constitutes a revolutionary change, the problem does seem different than in the past. New communication technologies--fax machines, electronic banking, electronic mail--are one set of factors that allow outlaw groups to quickly generate solidarity, translate it into effective support, and act. More important perhaps than supporting violent action itself, the same technologies add to the outlaws' ability to threaten and extort.
Analyses that focus on a single strand of the fabric of violence--that isolate on ethnic rivalry, mafias, or revolutionary cadre--can underestimate the disruptive power that those phenomena gain when they coincide. Troubles will not come as single soldiers; they will come in battalions. Our future promises complex competitions between agencies of the state and shifting combinations of challengers, especially in urban areas. The coming center of gravity of armed political struggles in Latin America may be indigenous populations, youth gangs, drug cartels, foreign expatriates, or insurgents. But if we could identify a single focal point for Latin American urban violence, it would probably be an advanced form of organized crime. The question arises: Are exploitable patterns emerging in the nature of organized urban violence that analyses of urban geography can expose? Can the social polarization and spacial segregation be mapped in a predictive way? The answer to both questions is yes.
Unique morphologic and demographic factors have a cause and effect relationship to urban sociological phenomena. We can trace urbanized landscape forms, population shifts, and urban legal or psychological conditions back to elements of technological processes. Therefore, any model used to consider human competitions in urban space--where physical description of the land is itself a complicated task must incorporate the dynamics of technological change. Not only does the immediate physical condition of the space constrain human activities, but ongoing change in the conditions of the physical space constrains future activities. As such, it makes sense to look at the disciplines of architecture, engineering and city planning (as much as to criminology, law, or military studies) to discover the variables that will influence human conflict in urban areas. All these various disciplines can be subsumed under an urban geopolitic.
We can consider the specter of urban violence geopolitically--that is, as an interaction of terrain, demographic and political factors. Urban geographers visualize urban relationships in terms of space, territoriality, and distance.2 Geopolitics for urban strife, however, needs to be downscaled from the continental reach of a Heartland Theory.3 To help reconcile traditional geopolitics to urban morphology, we can apply lessons from the study of architecture and from legal theory of property ownership. In shorthand, "real estate" becomes the didactic key for resizing geopolitics to the urban scale: This is because the changes of greatest importance to an interpretation of urban conflict are those that involve architectural change and changes in real estate ownership. As urban geographer Paul Knox puts it, "There is...a constant restlessness to the built environment, as both simultaneous and sequential processes of investment, disinvestment, and reinvestment take place."4
Ownership relationships reflect technological change and vice versa. For instance, if we accept barbed wire as a classic example of a simple invention that changed rural land use (closing the open range and sparking range wars), then the elevator provides an archetype for city growth--contributing as it did to the acceptance of tall buildings. Tall buildings allow higher population densities that engender other technologies that allow and encourage population density. Migrations to and coagulation within cities of groups with cohesive ethnic identities also contributes to territorial competition. Along with these changes in landscape, architecture and demographics comes an evolution of tenancy relationships, changed requirements for population control, and conflict. Therefore, the geopolitics of urban strife must include investigation of the way in which property is owned and protected, as much as who owns it. Geopolitics as property analysis must consider the whole scope of urban ownership. It must consider who the owners (and would-be owners) are, the cohesiveness of their identities, and their leadership. It must also account for the property itself in broader than two-dimensional terms. A piece of urban land is owned in slices of rights that are recorded and agreed to in a variety of ways, both formal and informal. A typical area of urban soil may be the subject of water.and sewage easements, occupier rights in condominium space, zoning ordinances limiting building height, unwritten drug marketing limits between street gangs, and corporate ownership of mortgages. We must see the property of urban geopolitics, therefore, as more than the surface area falling between latitudinal and longitudinal limits. It is ownership rights. These property rights and their values are reflected in broadly discernible, and mappable, land use and architectural types. Furthermore, conflicts that arise over property rights reflect the man-made terrain--what urban geographers call the "built environment."
The Latin American City. Population expansion and urbanization continue throughout the world.5 In Latin America, as elsewhere, the urban scene has long been the focus of organized political violence, of revolutionary theory, and of scholarly consideration of the same.6 Recent indicators suggest that city venues for anti-state use of organized force may become still more commonplace in Latin America. Nicaraguan revolutionary Tomas Borge, interviewed at the Mexico City airport on his way to Brazil for the second meeting of the Permanent Conference of Latin American Political Parties, said that armed struggle was no longer the way to seize power in the region.7 At the same time, however, he noted that "if the Latin American political leaders do not defend the interests of the people, the emergence of rebel groups in urban areas--as recently happened in Venezuela--cannot be prevented."8 We might take Borge's comment as a matter-of-fact observation about political realities in Latin American cities. We might also take it as a warning note implying a regional strategic analysis by the violent left that while rural Marxist guerrilla strategies may be obsolescent, there is great potential for translating urban misery into violent political action.
Isolating on any particular type of spatial setting has its limitations. We cannot theoretically wrench Latin American cities away from their surrounding countryside and leave any conclusions logically complete. Indeed, rural-based revolutionary movements are not totally obsolete, as Mexican Zapatistas will attest. In some cities, Bogota and Lima being clear examples, established leftist guerrilla groups with rural bases of support have recently mounted high profile challenges to the state.9 Nevertheless, this analysis does not posit resurgence of the violent left as the center piece of future security threats in Latin America--in the cities or elsewhere.10 It attempts to portray the violent political left as but one, albeit formidable, actor in a full firmament of armed interests. The term insurgency is also treated cautiously. Insurgency has grown doctrinaire barnacles that encourage the analyst of internal struggles to assign attributes to groups based on definitional pigeonholes. It would be incorrect to presume that an organized armed group is a less dangerous entity because it does not have as its goal the overthrow of the state, does not follow a revolutionary strategy, or fails to assert a radical ideology. We should look at armed organizations without predicating that any realistic, strategic political goal or identifiable ideology be a prerequisite for serious consideration of that organization as a threat to the state.
Besides the characterization of violent actors, another of the difficulties in forming a geopolitical view of urban conflict is the gaseous definition of urbaness.11 "City" is a status awarded intuitively.12 There are no clear numerical breakpoint between what constitutes a city and what does not. Nevertheless, a continuum of urbaness exists that is marked by salient features such as subway systems, large public stadiums, and bypass highways. All of theses have their effect on urban violence. Whatever the physical attributes of a populated area, it need not reach the status of "world city" to be home to many of the same ingredients of violence. Beside directly observable attributes of urban size are several tangible qualities of the mind that affect the nature of organized conflict. For instance, the urban environment offers individual anonymity, a factor that can be of great use to the anarchist, but can also be of great use to government intelligence. In this regard, urban geographies, like any others, do not necessarily give advantage to any side in a political contest. They present an advantage to the contestant who understands, adjusts, or adapts to them.l3
Urban participants. In a huge city it is possible to unite and organize a club of identical triplets--or of psychopathic anarchists. Not only can individual members of a rare identity meet and communicate, they can find ways to communicate their solidarity discreetly. It is also possible, because of the nature of modern information media, for these rarities to project an image of commonness or great numbers. A relatively high density of what would otherwise be statistical oddities can be translated, in the public mind, into an influential sector. With an impression of strength, even a minuscule group can reach out to tap whatever marginal sympathies might exist in the larger population. The percent of a population that involves itself in organized outlaw behavior need not be very great to present a dangerous threat to stability for a given polity. Even while insurgent and counterinsurgent theories have hailed the need for public or mass support, many revolutionary organizations have survived year after year with the active support of very small fractions of the citizenry. One tenth of 1 percent of twenty million persons is still twenty thousand. But neither urban violence nor its leadership is limited to society's fringes.
Urban violence can draw on the entire, broad range of urban dwellers. Participants, victims and audiences are likely to include all economic categories, all ages and both sexes. Some groupings of people merit special attention. Dispossessed, desperate masses may be the most obvious human dimension in the urban property struggle. In the Third World, these marginalized populations are growing in cities of all sizes, and apparently fastest in the largest cities.14 Not only has the size of these masses been alarming, the rate of growth is a variable contributing to social strain. While there may be some correlation between economic growth and urbanization, there seems to be no demonstrable correlation between migration to the cities and improved economic well-being of the migrants. "This pessimistic picture poses the question of why urban population growth should be so high in countries that offer so little in their cities. The reason is, of course, that prospects are even worse in the countryside and it is the perceived advantages of the city that draws migrants to it."15
Curiously, the political radical's presumption that all of these masses would be ripe for revolutionary behavior has not so far proven to be completely correct.l6 Still, while sweeping generalities about potential armies of dispossessed may be inaccurate, huge populations of poor and aspiring people in Latin American cities are a factor in the potential for organized violence. Of particular importance is the geographic result of immense, underserviced shanty towns. The existence of a huge slum sanctuary apparently favors criminal organizations more than revolutionary ones. It is in the shanty town that, even without active support, a criminal organization can disappear behind the effects of intimidation and disaffection.
The linkage between organized criminals and insurgents has been a controversial topic. In the words of Carlos Marighella,
"The Urban Guerrilla...differs radically from the outlaw. The outlaw benefits from the action, and attacks indiscriminately without distinguishing between the exploited and the exploiters, which is why there are so many ordinary men and women among his victims. The urban guerrilla follows a political goal and only attacks the government, the big capitalists, and the foreign imperialists, particularly North Americans."17
There may be some truth to Marighella's distinction, but it is an insignificant truth compared to the extensive involvement of supposedly principled revolutionaries in gangstering. The Colombian example is most convincing.18 There, debate over the existence of a 'narcoguerrilla' is dead. Colombian guerrilla groups have long been engaged in a variety of common criminal endeavors including the drug trade. Drug cartels, meanwhile, have bought themselves into the political environment. In either case, lack of a stable or well-articulated ideological azimuth should not cause us to understate their status as a threat to governance, especially in Latin America. There may exist a presumption that organized criminal groups do not present as extensive a threat to the state as does an insurgent force, but as French student of urban warfare Roger Trinquier warned, "Even a band of gangsters, lacking any political ideology at all, but without scruples and determined to employ the same methods, could constitute a grave danger. "19
Perhaps more than the armed leftist movements of the past, large criminal organizations count on international connections and have both the liquid financial resources and ruthlessness to directly corrupt government institutions.20 Moreover, they are often guided by ethnic factors that add greater cohesiveness and competitiveness to their identity.21 Finally, the post-Cold War generation of gangster leadership benefits from another coincidence--the jailing of Marxist revolutionaries during the 1960s and 1970s. Many members of the current generation of organized criminal leaders benefited from co-incarceration with Marighellas lieutenants, or jailed Tupamaros or Senderistas. Prison stays became a seminar for the criminal, given by the revolutionary, in proven anti-state tactics including kidnaping, bank robbing, clandestine organization, recruiting, and, of course, mob behavior and control.
Latin American cities are also seeing a resurgence in the mobilization or manipulation of students in support of political demands. Novel, perhaps, in this resurgence is a greater emphasis on organizing high school as opposed to university age students. This is probably due to a more politically moderate character of many university student bodies, and to the traditionally leftist political leanings of teacher unions and state ministries of education. The urban violence in Venezuela to which Tomas Borge alluded seems to have its focus in the public high schools.22 Street violence caused by high school students in Guatemala City was a catalyst for the events that led to the closure of Congress and the attempted auto-golpe of President Jorge Serrano in 1993.23
More than just a shift from college-age to younger teen age mass support, there is a remarkable involvement of children in several dimensions of urban violence. Street gangs in all parts of the world have been known for their Faganesque hierarchies. In the United States, notorious street gangs like the Los Angeles Crips involve children as young as eleven years old, who serve as couriers and lookouts.24 These same functions for early and preteens are seen in Latin American gangs, as well as in revolutionary organizations. Organized use of children by guerrilla groups is not something unique to the city, but the city does provide criminal and revolutionary leaders with an exploitable quantity of un- or under-parented youth. In Brazil, for instance, investigators claim there are millions of orphaned children.25 In Rio de Janeiro, drug gangs provide employment and protection for many street youths.26 Children represent the utterly dispossessed. A gang leader can provide an abandoned, or under-parented child not only with protection, but with a hope for material success, personal fulfillment and social respect-all without having to go to school. Often the entire organized enculturation of a child may occur within the parameters of a criminal society. Thus, battle lines are drawn that have generational, territorial, and anti-state dimensions.
Another major participant in potential urban disorder is the trade union.27 Unions in Latin America are maturing in their international reach and benefiting from advances in human rights and political participation in most countries. Some labor organizations are expressing well-timed solidarity with popular political movements. Ecuador is presently instructive. There, the Confederation of Ecuadorean Indigenous Nationalities (Confederacion de Nacionalidades Indigenas del Ecuador, Conaie) mounted a virtual Indian uprising to resist changes in rural land ownership brought on by a new agricultural development law (these changes are similar to those opposed by the Chiapas-based Zapatistas in Mexico). The major Ecuadorean labor affiliation, United Workers Front (Frente Unitario de Trabajadores, FUT) threatened a general strike and ordered work stoppages in support of Indian demands, and as a timing strategy to exact wage increases. Environmental protection groups came down on the side of the Indians, and the Church participated as mediator, while showing a clear preference for the Indians.28 While a few small urban areas were paralyzed by Indian mass actions, and the Ecuadoran military was mobilized, no widespread confrontation between the military and labor organizations occurred. In summary, labor organizations, whose goals are generally related to higher wages, call on the support of dwellers of the same neighborhoods where organized crime takes hold. Labor organizations are vulnerable to influence and control by organized crime, and their actions obey correlations of forces that include seemingly unrelated organizations and movements--but that carefully measure the temporal vulnerability of the state.
Urban terrain. We could refer to urban geopolitics as the architecture of ownership, since architecture and city planning have grown so close. Architect and political activist Mike Davis offers an intriguing appraisal of the future of urban struggles.29 Davis examines the determinants and consequences of the Los Angeles riots and the status of American urban life from an architect's viewpoint. He draws on the work of Ernest Burgess of the University of Chicago School of Sociology who in the 1930s drew a spatial model of the modern city. The model is formed of concentric rings in which are located types of community or function. The dartboard-like model displays Burgess's generalized interpretation of Chicago life. These generalizations regarding relationships between urban location and human activity became an influential theory, one that today would be very understandable to the geopolitician. For Davis the architect, it served to guide his observations about violence in Los Angeles.
A significant dimension of Davis' observation is dedicated to the architecture of control. He points out that fear of a repeat of the 1965 Watts Riots counseled planners of Los Angeles' new downtown business core. He writes,
Key to the success of the entire strategy (celebrated as Downtown L.A.'s "renaissance") was the physical segregation of the new core and its land values behind a rampart of re-graded palisades, concrete pillars and freeway walls. Traditional pedestrian connections between Bunker Hill and the old core were removed, and foot traffic in the new financial district was elevated above the street on pedways whose access was controlled by the security systems of individual skyscrapers. This radical privatization of Downtown public space--with its ominous racial undertones-occurred without significant public debate or protest. 30
Whatever else one might say about the social or financial determinants of the Los Angeles business core architecture, it worked to secure the district from the 1992 riots.
By flicking a few switches on their command consoles, the security staffs of the great bank towers were able to cut off all access to their expensive real estate. Bullet-proof steel doors rolled down over street-level entrances, escalators instantly stopped and electronic locks sealed off pedestrian passageways. As the Los Angeles Business Journal recently pointed out in a special report, the riot-tested success of corporate Downtown's defenses has only stimulated demand for new and higher levels of physical security. 31
The architecture of security (or control) has many more common and less ambitious manifestations than the core of downtown Los Angeles. Gated neighborhoods are an example that is familiar to Latin Americanists and one that has come comparatively late to communities in the United States. It is an extrapolation of the walled residence that is a cultural standard in Latin America and a depressing porvenir in the United States. This trend has been labeled the "landscape of fear" and "can become something of a self-fulfilling prophesy, in which the belief that places are unsafe both deters the deterrent presence of the law-abiding and attracts potential lawbreakers."32 Paradoxically, "the more security is sought by physical protection against the city outside, the less powerful are the social controls upon that city, and thus more unsafe it becomes."33 Students of Latin America require no proof that these observations about American cities can be applied internationally.
Monied interests in Latin America continue to isolate, physically and socially, the sprawling poor communities. These then become independent of mainstream state control as criminal organizations secure loyalties, impose law and order, provide justice, and offer economic opportunities within identifiable physical borders. The shanty towns become separately governed areas. They mark the physical dimensions of what in some ways are autonomous nations within nations. At some point their leadership may be seen as a national security threat as opposed to merely a public security threat. Therein lies their geopolitical importance.
Urban law and capital. As Davis points out, the walled community has its parallel expressions in legal contraptions.34 In Los Angeles, zoning has advanced to include abatement zones that extend police powers to control nuisances, such as graffiti or prostitution; enhancement zones near schools and other institutions where criminal penalties are increased for crimes such as drug dealing; containment districts created to control pests; and exclusion zones.35 The latter exclude selected groups like campers or gang members from park or business areas. Davis notes that these are examples of "status criminalization" where group membership, even in the absence of a specific criminal act, has been outlawed. The constitutional strength, and therefore the practical application, of many of these control devises in U.S. cities may be questionable, but their growth can be a guide to urban futures in Latin America. Most of the new exclusion zone types are designed against two categories of persons-street gangs and the homeless (that is, the potential squatter). In Latin American cities, territorial (organized criminal or gang) control of urban neighborhoods and invasion of open plots by poor homesteaders are constant realities.
Money matters, like the legal regime, cannot be separated from the physical and social aspects of urban terrain, and are intimately tied to conditions for urban conflict. As Knox states:
Another important dimension of the emergent geography of American cities is the way in which the different combinations of money capital and cultural capital associated with class fractions give rise to preferences for architectural style, residential milieu and work environments.36
In the same work, in a chapter entitled "Cycles and Trends in the Globalization of Real Estate," John Logan underscores the importance of understanding the "securitization" of real estate.37 The term is not a reference to physical security. He notes that, like stocks and bonds, mortgages can be traded through semi-public agencies which buy home mortgages in bulk then sell bonds based on the value of the mortgages. Securitization is just that process--converting an asset (homes or other real estate) into a financial obligation that has identifiable characteristics and can be rated as to its investment risk in capitalÇmarkets. This phenomenon is one key to operationalizing a geopolitical approach to modern urban conflict. The market value of real property becomes increasingly well defined on the map. It is a neighborhood value of significance to an owner group far larger than the dwellers in a neighborhood.
Therefore, a threat against the real estate value can be aimed at owner audiences not living on the property--even international audiences.38 The constituency interested in the physical security and control of real estate includes investors whose financial well-being follows insurance, interest and bond rates that are in turn affected by threats and violent actions against or even near their properties. This larger owner reality will guide both intuitive and explicit conflict planning. Astute criminal or outlaw-political leaders conduct strategic extortion against these larger owner targets. Mortgage interests matter even on a modest geographical scale. A simple wall around a gated community--that is, the fortress architecture, finds its funding beyond the collaboration of neighbors. The wall has become an initial funding requirement by corporate insurers of the mortgages. As such, a violent group can wield leverage against a consensus-led set of private, semi-private, or government entities interested in preserving market values of real property.
Forms of Urban Violence. The foregoing paragraphs suggested a mixture of potential participant identities in anti-state violence. It was also asserted that the built environment as well as legal and financial regimes contribute to the nature of urban violence. These property determinants will be causes for violence, objects of violence, and limiters of violence. They will guide the approaches, or strategies, for managing violence as well. Many city-suitable, violent approaches for achieving political leverage exist. Some are associated almost exclusively with cities while others are more broadly applied. The standard terrorist approach has been labeled the strategy of recognition and defined as the rational use of violence to convey a message.39 The strategy requires a continuous cycle of three sequential events: an outrageous act staged in a way that carries a message, a subsequent international news story about the act that conveys the message, and consideration of the message by an international audience."40 Perhaps an international audience is not required, but achievement of international attention is a measure of the success of a recognition strategy.
A related strategy is to provoke overreaction by the government security forces, thereby causing public, and especially international outrage.41 This technique is familiar in smaller, isolated urban areas. Masses of (usually) unarmed people confront small military or police outposts and demand their withdrawal or the surrender of their weapons. This mob provocation technique is harder to use in larger urban areas where police and military reinforcements are quickly available. Next is the use of kidnaping and bank robbing to support other aspects of an armed movement. The most direct use of terror is to eliminate local leaders. This technique has the dual benefits of physically eliminating unsupportive opinion leaders in the community and terrorizing any would-be replacements into either leading in the preferred direction or abandoning the idea of leadership altogether.
These methods are well-known and proven. Less understood is the use of the mob. Even when none exists, the spectre provides leverage to leaders able to credibly claim the potential to incite, mollify, direct, disperse, or abort a mass gathering of people. As E. J. Hobsbawm pointed out three decades ago, mob leadership is not only worthy of respect, mob control may constitute a precursor to more formal and ideologically directed movements.42 Fear of the mob, more than fear of individual acts of terrorism, may be what drives the physical 'landscape of fear' mentioned earlier.
The reaction of the authorities to riot, or in the longer term to the fear of the possibility of riot, has throughout much of urban history been either to fortify refuges within the city (the 'citadel solution') or to remove themselves from the city, or from parts of it where the actions of the mob were most prevalent (the 'Versailles solution'). The former option was adopted by the Norman conquerors of eleventh-century England, where the castle on its motte was designed to protect the new government from the existing citizens and to cow the city into submission rather than protect it from external attack. Such a use of the castle was a much the rule as the exception through much of the Middle Ages. London's Tower, Paris's Bastille, Utrecht's Vredenburg, and many other such citadels, sheltered the urban government against enraged citizens whose lawlessness was allowed to burn itself out in the town outside.43
Criminal organizations can make a credible claim to mob control. As Davis notes in reference to the Los Angeles gangs, "Yet if the riot had a broad social base, it was the participation of the gangs---or rather their cooperation--that gave it [the L.A. riots] constant momentum and direction."44
The reaction to rioting is to try, when prevention fails, to isolate the mob, keep it away from key areas, or to disperse it. As noted by Ashworth, it is here that the morphology of the city is especially influential. For instance, if a mob can be pushed or made to scatter (with water cannon or gas, for instance) from an open area such as a plaza, the street pattern leading from the plaza often causes the mob to break up and lose unity. In Latin America, while the symbolic "taking" of a central plaza is still a common crowd event in some countries, mob behavior in many cities reflects more thoughtful strategic leadership. Targets such as vehicle arteries passing nearby a shanty town sanctuary are closed temporarily by large demonstrations, causing public displeasure and a palpable economic cost. When security forces arrive, the mob has self-dispersed and disappeared into the sanctuary. The act demonstrates power in support of strategic extortion against the government.
Mob control is best mounted before the mob exists and government blundering can be as important to the emergence of a mob as any supposed mob leadership. The 1993 Los Angeles riots provide another excellent example:
People were initially shocked by the violence, then mesmerized by the televised images of biracial crowds in South Central L.A. helping themselves to mountains of desirable goods without interference from the police. The next day, Thursday, April 30, the authorities blundered twice: first by suspending school and releasing kids into the streets; second by announcing that the National Guard was on the way to help enforce a dusk-to-dawn curfew.
Thousands immediately interpreted this as a last call to participate in the general redistribution of wealth in progress.45
The 'Urban Guerrilla". In the taxonomy of urban violence, "urban guerrilla" seems to enjoy the highest status, though there is some debate about whether or not there even is such a thing.46 Ignoring that debate, we can find lessons on the tactical consequences of correctly interpreting urban geopolitical factors from events in recent urban guerrilla history. Below are a few examples, the first taken from the period of urban guerrilla war experienced in Guatemala in the latter half of 1981 and the early months of 1982. 47
Based on a general awareness by Guatemalan army intelligence of a system of guerrilla safe houses in the Guatemala City, and with information provided by a neighbor's domestic employee, an important safehouse in an exclusive residential zone was assaulted and destroyed. From information gained in that assault, the army quickly took another house, then another. In quick succession, based mostly on interrogations, more than fifteen houses were taken in a period of one month and approximately twenty more houses were shut down during the ensuing four months. Intelligence came mostly from informants, though some technical intelligence was also used. For instance, extraordinary electric power usage late at night (used to run propaganda presses) in selected residential areas was a tipoff in more than one case. However, bad security on-the part of the guerrillas, due to overconfidence born from several years of invisibility, was the most important contributor to the virtual end of their presence in the Guatemalan capital. Similar errors have been observed in other parts of the hemisphere. As Abraham Guillen writes in "Urban Guerrilla Strategy" in critiquing the Uruguayan Tupamaros,
When urban guerrillas lack widespread support because of revolutionary impatience or because their actions do not directly represent popular demands, they have to provide their own clandestine infrastructure by renting houses and apartments. By tying themselves to a fixed terrain in this way, the Tupamaros have lost both mobility and security: two prerequisites of guerrilla strategy. In order to avoid encirclement and annihilation through house-to-house searches, the guerrillas can best survive not by establishing fixed urban bases, but by living apart and fighting together.48
The urban guerrillas in Guatemala City and Montevideo made the same mistake, one that had disastrous strategic consequences for the entire revolutionary enterprise.49 At least in Guatemala, had the guerrillas been able to sustain themselves within an expansive and impenetrable slum like those found in the larger capitals of Latin America, the results of the insurgency might have been different.
A 1985 attack by the M-19 guerilla group on the Colombian Palace of Justice (supreme court building) provides another example of the relation that the urban geopolitical factors ultimately have on the course of violent crises once they occur. It appears that immediacies of a guerrilla-drug relationship, combined with an impatient revolutionary timetable, were behind the M-19 decision to attack. After the guerrillas took the court building located at the geographical heart of Bogota (and, for that matter, the political heart of Colombia), Colombian military intelligence identified a threat of mass demonstrations along the approaches to the city center.50 According to Colombian military officers, a plan was in place to support the guerrilla takeover with a mob presence. In this light, military commanders sought the most rapid movement of troops to the scene possible, and an immediate resolution of the crisis. Such a resolution was achieved. Consequences included the death of almost the entire membership of the Colombian Supreme Court and destruction of a large part of the M-19 leadership.
Had the coincidences of timing been different, had a mob formed before the deployment of troops to the palace, and had then president Belisario Betancour attempted to negotiate a settlement with the guerrillas, there might have been a military coup. As it occurred, a new convergence of interests of drug dealer and guerrilla seems to have had one of its first major effects. As well, the morphology of Bogota's urban center determined timing decisions because of the associated mob threat. Distance along principal roadways between the guerrilla occupation site and military garrisons, the location and availability of mass public transportation, and the existence of open space near the city plaza invited a decision for immediate, violent action.
In 1989, San Salvador, El Salvador suffered a major guerrilla offensive by the Marxist FMLN. From this battle came an inside look at the FMLN urban guerrilla tactical doctrine.51 As would be expected, the FMLN had observed special architectural characteristics in residential areas where they expected to enjoy the greatest support. Their written doctrine called for tunneling from building to building through adjacent walls in low rent housing areas to provide covered internal lines. It also showed a sophisticated block defense arrangement and defense in depth of residential neighborhoods. Urban doctrine or not, the offensive was a failure, at least in the immediate military sense, but some aspects of the battle support the points raised earlier. For instance, the FMLN made widespread use of young (8- 13 year-old) children for a variety of combat support and at times combat chores. In addition, many front groups working in San Salvador, misled by hopeful thinking that the offensive would lead to a general, mass uprising, abandoned their civilian cover to instead take armed positions behind guerrilla barricades. The San Salvador example unites the importance of building design, supportive neighborhoods, and participation of diverse groups of people, especially children.
Examples above show a relationship between geopolitical factors at a metropolitan scale--urban landscape, demographics, and political challenges. Revolutionary guerrillas in Guatemala could not tap the advantages of a shanty town urban sanctuary. In Colombia, guerrilla timing failed to secure mob support for a terrorist occupation. In San Salvador, the guerrillas more successfully identified the psychological advantages of the poor neighborhoods, studied architectural specifics for military application, and involved children. While these examples are of revolutionary groups acting in the context of the Cold War, the lessons still apply to a future of urban violence dominated by organized criminal organizations. Criminal organizations have shown an even greater intuitive understanding of the security inherent in the development of virtual liberated zones in slum neighborhoods. They are able to lure children into the criminal culture, and to master the strategic management of mobs. Finally, and perhaps most important, they better understand the violent manipulation of property values and how to directly profit from that manipulation.
Countering Urban Violence. In a book titled New Visions for Metropolitan America, Anthony Downs outlines some government policy strategies for large cities in the United States. Downs presents a lengthy matrix of options that includes such things as expanding minority membership in local police forces, decriminalizing the use of drugs, and expanding suburban school access to inner city children.52 Elements on the matrix reflect the full range of government program-based thinking about how to tackle the problems of what may be a growing urban underclass. Taken together, the strategy suggested by Downs as a preventive to urban violence i.s reminiscent of some broad-based socioeconomic program approaches to rural counterinsurgency. As Downs points out, such programs require a substantial redistribution of wealth, a requirement often unsupported by political realities. Moreover, many argue that social programs generally do not work, that they entrench dependency on government, rob human dignity and instill resentments that fuel the culture of violence even further. Whatever the validity of the arguments, major Latin American cities can expect to muster far less public funding than cities in the United States, and so the enlightened control of violence by way of social engineering will remain an unrealized dream.
Meanwhile, intermittent outbursts of violence and a growth in criminal organizing will continue. United States military literature, even of the most recent vintage, addresses the question of urban violence in terms of conventional combat, or in terms of insurgency.53 Military doctrine sees such environments as unique principally because of the nature of the terrain and the need for specialized rules of engagement and detailed intelligence.54 The need for measured responses aided by specialized weapons is also highlighted.
In the United States, defense industries are paying more attention to non-lethal weapons and technologies such as sticky foams, anti-sniper radars, and advanced surveillance devices.55 At the operational planning level, however, the direction of urban counterviolence may follow the observations made earlier in this paper. Architectural technology has proven successful in containing rioters and can thus limit the options of opposition groups intent on managing mob behavior. We can expect defense planners to survey urban landscapes using a methodology that keys on architecture both to anticipate violence and to control it. Architectural control strategies may not resemble the massive capital investment made by Los Angeles businesses to immunize their downtown area, but they will reflect existing conditions of urbanization. For instance, in many cities, the form and dynamics of the public transportation system guide the development of any impending mass demonstration. Security forces not only can monitor and adjust aspects of the transportation system, they can create temporary architectures that restrict, canalize, diffuse or otherwise confound potentially violent events.
The effective proximity of shanty towns to target crime areas, to high value real estate, or to vulnerable public service nodes can all be analyzed according to courses of action available to anti-state actors. In addition, the specifics of property ownership, as detailed in land title registries and other ownership instruments, can be studied. This may suggest a rational distribution of financial responsibility for strategic defense costs, provide information about the value and vulnerability of target areas, and reveal outlaw profit motivations.
Beyond the promise that management of the built terrain holds for counter-violence, security forces should address the sociological phenomenon of the excluded populations. Governments will seek new means of opening shanty towns to the presence of the state. They should pay particular attention to the psychology of the abandoned child, and to criminal intimidation that dries up publicly provided information.
Conclusion. Several trends are likely to influence the look of future urban violence in Latin America. One is the use of children, another the use of the mob. Another is the trend toward architectural responses (and legal counterparts) in response to the fear of urban masses and of criminal organizing. Yet another, and perhaps the most difficult, is the confusion of purposes, identities and methods of groups that are variously revolutionary, anarchist, and criminal. Urban guerrilla war has had many Latin American practitioners in the past twenty years. However, while the guerrilla movements failed, many street gangs and more formidable criminal organizations have thrived. Somewhere between the defeated urban insurgencies.of Montevideo, Guatemala City and Lima--and the durable drug organizations of Cali and Sinaloa is a growing format for violent competition against established authorities.
This violent hybrid does not have to be a single thing with a coordinated leadership. It can be just the coincidence of several forms of anti-state violence feeding on the disruptive capacity of each other and on the fear that the concert of violence produces. Geopolitics, often deprecated for its escape into the theoretical heartland of immense forces, is a valid school of thought for untying the complex mathematics of urban disorder. However, for there to be a useful urban geopolitic, architecture and land ownership must be understood in their full complexity. We must remember that the single most important defining aspect of urbanize is high concentration of people. A natural starting point for conflict is the increased pressure on ownership portions. Thus we see (as a simplified example) that a population of abandoned children seeking new ownership identities and associations links itself to criminal groups that define territory along market competitive lines. These groups are outlaw. That is to say they defy and manipulate the establishment system of ownership, and they have learned violent methods from a generation of failed revolutionaries.
Two Spanish-language studies, Manual de Metodos Geograficos Para el Analisis Urbano, Chile (Manual of Geographical Methods of Analysis, Chile) and Territorio y Urbanismo (Territory and Urbanism) provide examples of a nascent, operationalized Geopolitics for urban conflict.56 In Manual de Metodos, mapping has been done of Santiago, Chile that includes the type and age of construction, value of homes, and many other aspects of the urban terrain and properties. The methodology, using transparent map overlays in an effort to gain insights about urban problem areas, is reminiscent of Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield (IPB), a methodology used by U.S. military intelligence officers as part of a cornmander's decision-making process in conventional, mostly rural, warfare.57 The Latin American geopolitical style of analysis not only promises to show potentially conflictive areas and urban targets in broad graphic terms, but can perhaps predict the most probable unfolding of events in the case of violent crises. Similarly, Territorio y Urbanismo delves into the application of geography-based modeling for the description of urban social problems and the rational determination of social programs.
These works are a very short step from a full-fledged urban geopolic. Of special interest, perhaps, to those seeking counter-violent strategies, is control architecture. Based on what amounts to urban geopolitical mapping, architects have become, in the urban context, the new military engineers--modern counterparts to the designers of the fortified cities of the early l7th century. Some will argue that broad social programs aimed at the supposed socioeconomic causes of economic marginalization offer a more sane and humane approach to the problem of urban violence. Still, if the general cannot control the weather and despairs of controlling the enemy, it is at least an attractive recourse to try to control the terrain. Thus, a unique feature of urban geopolitics may be the manipulation of the geographic factors of conflict. It will be interesting to see if urban geopolitics becomes translated into 2lst century control architecture. 58
1 Paul L. Knox, Urbanization: An Introduction to Urban Geography (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Center for Urban & Regional Studies, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, Prentice Hall, 1994). This social and economic polarization and spacial segregation involves: "a growing international elite, dominated by a transnational producer-service class (in law, banking, insurance, business services, accounting, engineering, advertising, and so on; pronounced inner-city gentrification and development for luxury use; a large informal economy; and a large and growing class of multiply disadvantaged people." p. 62.
2 Ibid., p. v.
3 Halford Mackinder, building on Freidrich Ratzel's notion of continental power, attributed preeminence to the Eurasian landmass in what became his Heartland Theory. The theory was published in 1919 in a study titled "Democratic Ideals and Reality," and is summarized by his famous phrase: "Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland: Who rules the Heartland commands the World Island: Who rules the World Island commands the World." See Halford J. Mackinder, Democratic Ideals and Reality (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1962), 150. There is some debate about when exactly the term Heartland was coined. Mackinder had delivered an influential lecture in 1904 titled "The Geographical Pivot of History" in which the term appears and in which the essence of his theory is propounded. See James Trapier Lowe, (Washington, D.C.. University Press of America, 1981), p.5.
4 Ibid., p.177.
5 John H. Kasarda, Third World Cities: Problems, Politics and Prospects (Newbury Park, California, Sage Publications, 1993). "Contemporary and projected aggregate increments of urban population in developing regions are nothing short of breathtaking. In 1950, only 285 million people, or 16 percent of the developing world's population, resided in urban places. By 1990 this number had multiplied fivefold to 1.5 billion urban residents, making up 37 percent of the total population in developing countries. The United Nations (UNDIESA 1991) projects that during the next 35 years the urban population of the developing countries will triple again, reaching 4.4 billion in 2025. At that time, four of every five urban dwellers in the world will be in countries currently classified as developing, and within these countries, about two in three people (61 percent) will be urban." p. ix.
6 For observations on urban guerrilla war by South American revolutionary Abraham Guillen, see Philosophy of the Urban Guerrilla: the revolutionary writings of Abraham Guillen (New York: Morrow, 1973); "Urban Guerrilla Strategy," in Gerard Chaliand, ed., Guerilla Strategies: An Historical Anthology from the Long March to Afghanistan (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1982); and in Walter Laqueur, The Guerrilla Reader: A Historical Anthology (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1977), p. 230.; see also Mario Orsolini, Montoneros: Sus Proyectos y Sus Planes (Buenos Aires: Circulo Militar, 1989); James Kohl and John Litt, Urban Guerrilla Warfare in Latin America (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1974); Brian Michael Jenkins, (Santa Monica, California: The Rand Corporation, 1972).; For an example of a practical manual in English on urban violence, see Urbano, Fighting in the Streets: a manual of urban warfare (Fort Lee, New Jersey: Barricade Books, 1991).
7 The Permanent Conference of Latin American Political Parties is a post-Cold War open forum of leftist parties, many with historic roots in violent political expression.
8 "FSLN's Borge Sees Passing of Armed Struggles in Region" PA0811192993 Mexico City NOTIMEX in Spanish 1819 GMT 6 Nov 1993, FBIS-LAT-93-215 9 Nov 1993.
9 "Guerrilla: Del Monte a la ciudad" (Guerrillas: From the Mountain to the City) Semana October 12, 1993, p. 44; Wilson Ring, "Guatemalan Guerrillas Take Fight Close to Cities," Washington Post, 17 April, 1990, p. A-18; Sally Bowen, "Peru's Shining Path' Presses War in Capital As Public Doubts Grow," Christian Science Monitor, 31 July 1992, pp. 1,4.; "'Red Path' Seeks To Gain 'Strategic Balance,"' Lima Expreso in Spanish, 4 May 1994 as translated by FBIS-LAT-94-093, 13 May 1994. According to this report, remnant Shinning Path dissidents were organizing in a number of Lima's outskirt shantytowns. Their aim was to recover the strategic balance lost after Sendero Luminoso leader Abimael Guzman fell.
10 See, however, Jorge G. Castaneda, Utopia Unarmed: The Latin american Left After the Cold War (New York: Alfred Knopf, 1993) for a vision regarding the future energies of leftist politics in the Hemisphere.; see "Renace la izquierda?" (Rebirth of the Left?) Bogota Semana 9 November 1993, p. 88 for a broad critique of Castaneda's prediction of a potent non-violent influence for the far left.
11 See David Drakakis Smith, The Third World City (New York: Routledge, 1990), p. 2. "It must be admitted at the outset that there is little homogeneity in the nature of urban growth in the Third World, and this is perhaps not surprising in view of the large number and varied nature of the countries involved.... This diversity also extends to definitions of what is 'urban' or what constitutes a "city'. In an effort to overcome such variations the United Nations has standardized its data to recognize settlements of over 20,000 people as "urban", of more than 100,000 as "cities" and of more than 5 million as "big cities"; see also Martin T. Cadwaller, Urban Geography (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, Prentice Hall, Inc., 1985), p. 19. "The subject matter of this book is not easily defined, as it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between urban and rural settlements. This difficulty is reflected by the wide variation in population sizes used by different countries in order to categorize urban as opposed to rural settlements. In Sweden and Denmark, for example, settlements of only 200 people are counted as urban, whereas in Japan settlements have to contain at least 30,000 people before they are designated as urban. These different definitions make it difficult to compare levels of urbanization across countries. " Ibid.
12 See Gerald Michael Greenfield, ed., Latin American Urbanization (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group, 1994) for an up-to-date, encyclopedic treatment of major Latin American urban areas. For a penetration into the cultural bases of Latin American urban tragedy and survival, see Alma Guillermoprieto, The Heart That Bleeds (New York: Alfred Knopf, 1994); For a graphic presentation of the development of urban areas in Latin America see CEHOPU (Centro de Estudios Historicos de Obras Publicas y Urbanismo) (Historical Study Center of Public Works and Urbanism), La Ciudad Hispanoamericana: E1 Sueno de un Orden (The Hispanoamerican City: The Dream of Order) (Madrid: Ministerio de Obras Publicas y Urbanismo Madrid, 1989.
13 Most of the arguments and examples made herein are taken from analyses of United States cities. The implication that they apply to cities in Latin America must be to some degree discounted since Latin American cities are in ways distinct from cities in the United States. For instance, Los Angeles is mentioned often, and while some would argue that Latin America begins somewhere north of Orange County, Los Angeles is the quintessential automobile city. In Latin America, the vast majority of city dwellers depend on public transportation. As will be argued again later, this fact has considerable geopolitical consequence. Also, in addition to the differences between North American and Latin American cities, there are differences in character among Latin American cities themselves.
14 Drakakis Smith, The Third World City, p. 5.
15 Ibid. , p. 8.
16 Ibid., p. 50. Radical activists find more barriers to their message than they expect. "Many of the early investigations of the urban poor in the late 1960s and 1970s analyzed their voting patterns and concluded that they voted more conservatively than the middle classes.... Such conservatism is not an innate quality of the poor, although many do have aspirations for themselves and their children and prefer not to jeopardize their future. However, most poor communities are influenced by conservative leaders. Many of these are religious leaders."
17 Carlos Marighella, Minimanual of the Urban Guerrilla, 1969, p.2.
18 See Merril Collett, "An International Story: the myth of the 'narcoguerrillas', "Nation, 13 August 1988, Dialog File 647, 07886253. Collett claims that United States Ambassador to Colombia Lewis Tambs invented the narcoguerrilla, that he had 'conjured up a phantom.' But Collet makes his arguments in a contradictory apology for the violent left. Early he states, "The notion of a 'narcoguerrilla' unites what can't be united: Top traffickers are hugely successful capitalists bent on boosting their earnings and their social status. Marxist rebels want to overthrow capitalism altogether." Later in the same piece he affirms, "The guerrillas, who now have at least a third of their forces in coca-growing regions, fix prices for daylaborers on coca plantations, agitate to keep paste prices up and prevent abuses by cartel gunznen. 'It's a contract arrived at under the threat of force,' says historian Alvaro Delgado, a member of the communist party's central committee." Collett, enamored by the union image of a revolutionary organization standing up for the rights of workers, amazingly overlooked the obvious marriage of interests between the drug dealers and the guerrillas.
Ambassador Tambs "narcoguerrilla" referred from the outset more to a phenomenon of cooperation and intermixed conduct than to a one-in-the-same guerrilla-narcotics trafficker. Now even the latter's existence is hardly in doubt. In August 1993, the Colombian press reported the capture of the chief of the 43rd Front of the FARC. According to the report, Eladio de Jesus Gracian Higuita, alias 'Marlon Montealegre,' had also been chief of security for Carlos Lehder Rivas, one of the most powerful and notorious of the drug mafia dons. The press report, citing information provided by the military, noted that Gracian had been involved in arms trafficking, was closely tied to drug trafficking networks, and had been commander of the l5th and l6th FARC fronts as well as the 43rd. See "Capturado el jefe del 43 frente de la FARG," E1 Tiempo, 1 August 1993, 11D. If one is inclined to believe the Colombian military reports, Mr. Gracian constitutes the definiti.ve narcoguerrillero; The motivations bringing the guerrilla into the drug business are well-described historically in "The Big Guerrilla Business," Semana, 7-14 July 1992, 26-32; see also Geoffrey Demarest, "Narcotics Trafficking and the Colombian Military," in High Intensity Conflict, Low Intensity Conflict, forthcoming from University of Illinois, Chicago Press.
19 Roger Trinquier, Modern Warfare: A French View of Counterinsurgency (New York: Praeger Publishers, 1964), p. 24.; Trinquier's comment should be challenged to the extent that he suggests that criminal gangs have no ideology. Today's gangster rap bands like "Ice Cube" provide at least the precursors of an expressed ideology. Gangs also have scruples, even if nonsandard. In this regard see Elijah Anderson, "The Code of the Streets," The Atlantic Monthly May 1994 for an essay about how the inner-city environment fosters a need for respect and a selfimage based on violence.
20 Graham H. Turbiville Jr., "Operations Other Than War: Organized Crime Dimension," Military Review, January 1994, p. 35.; "The Chechen Ethno-Religious Conflict, Terrorism and Crime," Military Review March 1994, p. 19.
21 See Graham H. Turbiville, "The Chechen Ethno-Religious Conflict, Terrorism and Crime," Military Review March 1994, p. 19.
22 "Nation's Most Important Cities Militarized," and "Witnesses Say Police Shot 3 Students at Protest," Caracas Union Radio Network in Spanish 1200 GMT 12 May 1994 as translated in FBIS-LAT-94-093, 13 May 1994.
23 'Government Closes 3 Schools,' Mexico City NOTIMEX in Spanish 2259 GMT, 12 May 1993 as translated in FBIS-LAT-93-091, 13 May 1993, p.8; 'Losses in May Disturbances in Capital Amount to 1 Million Quetzales,' Guatemala El Grafico in Spanish 13 May 1993 p. 5 as translated in FBIS-LAT-93-093, 17 May 1993, p.l6
24 Michael D. Lyman, Gangland: Drug Trafficking by Organized Criminals (Springfield, Illinois: Charles C. Thomas Publisher, 1989), 99.
25 Maguel, Bayon, "La masacre de ninos en Brasil es un espejo para el mundo" (The Massacre of Children in Brazil Is A Mirror for the World)(interview with Gilberto Dimenstein), Brazil Pais 24 May 1994, p. 27.; Brazil is not unique in Latin America in this regard. See David Aponte, "Vive 62% de la poblacion de AL (America Latina) y el Garibe en 'pobreza critica"' (62% of the Population of LA [Latin America] and the Caribbean Lives in 'Extreme Poverty'), Mexico Jornada 16 February 1994, p..l2. Aponte cites Organization of American States statistics which also claim that almost 280 million Latin Americans live in extreme poverty.; See, however, Don Podesta, "Rio de Janiero: Carnage at Its Ugliest," The Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 15-21 November 1993, p. 6. Podesta also notes that the number of killings per capita is still lower than in Washington, D.C.
26 Katherine Ellison, "Kids Are Casualties of Rio Drug War," Miami Herald 10 April 1994, pp. l A,l4 A. Ellison reports that the gangs, most of whose members are youths or children, are dominated by a guerrilla-seeming organization called the Red Command. The suggestion is again apparent--Marxism-Leninism is no longer trumpeted--avoiding the consolidation of a frightened anti-communism. Instead, the equal of communist radical philosophy may thrive and grow under the cover of less politically affronting outlaw forms. As long as an organization appears to be a public security problem and not a national security problem, it may remain safe from effective physical reaction by the state.
27 See James L. Payne, "Democracy by Violence," in Labor and Politics in Peru: The System of Political Bargaining (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965), p. 269. Payne described the use of the threat of violence on the part of labor organizations to leverage political concessions from Peruvian presidents. He suggested that the model was applicable throughout Latin America.
28 "Unions call off general strike," Latin American Weekly Report 7 July 1994, p. 290; "Duran Ballen backs away from conflict," Latin American Weekly Report 14 July 1994, p. 309.
29 Mike Davis, Urban Control: The Ecology of Fear (Westfield, New Jersey, The Open Magazine Pamphlet Series, 1994).
30 Ibid., p. 4.
32 G.J. Ashworth, War and the City, (New York: Routledge, 1991), p. 92. Ashworth cites Yi-Fu Tuan, Landscapes of Fear (Oxford: Blackwell, 1979).
33 Ashworth, Ibid. p.93. citing R.N. Davidson, Crime and Environment (London: Croom Helm, 1981).
34 Mike Davis, Urban Control, p. 9.
35 These exclusion zones evoke what Davis refers to more generally as "the city of the excluded." see Paul L. Knox, Restless Urban Landscape, p. 27. He notes, "The exclusion and segregation of the poor is of course a well-worn theme in urban geography.", p.28, and, "Most striking among the landscapes of the excluded are 'impact ghettos'...spatially isolated concentrations of the very poor...often drained of community leaders and containing very high proportions of single-parent families struggling to survive in downgraded environments that also serve as refuges for the criminal segment of the informal economy. . . . " p. 2 9.
36 Knox, ibid., p. 27.
37 Ibid., p. 37.
38 Although the author did not find a suitable example, the use of violence by organized armed groups to temporarily depress real estate values--in support of their own speculative land investment--should not be discounted as a strategy in urban violence.
39 Rod Paschall, LIC 2000; Special Operations & Unconventional Warfare in the Next Century (Washington: Brassey's (US) Inc, 1990, p. 107.
41 Copies of a guerrilla manual titled "Instructions for Urban Combat" were captured by government forces during the FMLN attack on San Salvador in November, 1989. An analysis of that manual concludes that, "(t]he FMLN doctrine was designed to try to put the armed forces and government of El Salvador in a no-win situation. The longer they took to drive the guerrilla out, the greater the political victory would be for the insurgents, and the stronger the national and international press would perceive them to be. On the other hand, if the government forces used their heavy weapons-artillery, aviation, and armor--they would quickly drive the guerrillas out, but at such a high civilian cost that it could provoke a general uprising." David E. Spencer, "Urban Combat Doctrine of the Salvadoran FMLN," Infantry November-December 1990, p. 19.
42 E.J. Hobsbawm, Primitive Rebels: Studies of Archaic Forms of Social Movement in the 19th ad 20th Centuries (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1959).
43 G.J. Ashworth, War and the City, p. 96.
44 Mike Davis, L.A. Was just the Beginning - Urban Revolt in the United States: A Thousand Points of Light (Westfield, New Jersey, The Open Magazine Pamphlet Series, 1992), p. 5.
45 Ibid. , p. 2.
46 G.J. Ashworth, War and the City, p. 104. "..[A] number of commentators-would doubt the logical possibility of the existence of urban guerrilla warfare (Ashworth cites V. Ney, "Guerrilla war and modern strategy," Orbis 2(1) 19-58, p. 66-82.). Blanqui's handbook on urban insurgency technique was, for example condemnÇd by Lenin for failing to distinguish between insurrection and revolution. In part this is also a reaction to the pretensions of many urban terrorist groups that they are a guerrilla army when in reality they are no more than 'half-baked criminals perpetuating acts of violence' (Ashworth cites J. Ellis, Armies in Revolution (London: Croom Helm, 1975).
47 Information on the Guatemalan urban guerrillas is based on author interviews of Guatemalan military and other government principals.
48 Abraham Guillen, "Urban Guerrilla Strategy" in Laqueur, Guerrilla Reader: Ibid., p. 231.
49 At about the same time, in the fall of 1981, the Guatemalan government mounted a rural military offensive that caught the guerrillas in the highlands west and north of the city. The guerrillas were marshalling for a major offensive toward Guatemala City at the time. As a result of the urban defeat, however, the weight of the guerrillas' logistic trains shifted 180 degrees. Instead of 80 percent of the material, financial and personnel support originating or being routed through the capital of Guatemala and 20 percent from elsewhere, it was now the reverse. When the rural guerrilla units were beaten tactically by the Guatemalan Army, strategic recovery would prove impossible.
50 Information about the 1985 attack on the Colombian Palace of Justice is taken in part from author interviews with knowledgeable Colombian military officers. For another viewpoint on these events see Ana Carrigan, The Palace of Justice: A Colombian Tragedy (New York: Four Walls, Eight Windows, 1993).
51 David E. Spencer, "Urban Combat Doctrine of the FMLN," p. 17; Charles Armstrong, "Urban Combat: The FMLN's 'Final Offensive' of 1989" Marine Corps Gazette November 1990, p. 52.
52 Anthony Downs, New Visions for Metropolitan America (Washington, D.C.. The Brookings Institute, 1994), p. 176. 53 Jennifer Morrison Taw and Bruce Hoffman, The Urbanization of Insurgency (Santa Monica, California: RAND Arroyo Center, 1994)
53 Jennifer Morrison Taw and Bruce Hoffman, The Urbanization of Insurgency (Santa Monica, CA: RAND Arroyo Center, 1994).
54 See T. R. Milton, Jr., "Urban War: Future War," Military Review February 1994, p. 37.
55 Barbara Starr, "Pentagon Maps Non-Lethal Options," International Defense Review July 1994, p. 30.; See also Steve Coll, "Britons Turn Their Cameras on Crime: Is this the way of the future or an Orwellian 1984 come true?" The Washington Post National Weekly Edition p. 19. for a description of the growing industry of public video surveillance systems.
56 Instituto Panamericano de Geografia e Historia, Manual de Metedos Geograficos Para el Analisis Urbano, Chile (Manual of Geographical Methods of Analisis, Chile) (Mexico, D.F.: Instituto Panamericano de Geografia e Historia, Comision de Geografia, Comite de Geografia Urbana, 1988); and Nelly Amalia Gray de Cerdan, Territoria y Urbanismo: Bases de Geografia Prospectiva (Territory and Urbanism: Bases of a predictive geography) (Mendoza, Argentina: Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Tecnicas, 1987).
57 See Kevin D. Johnson, Battlefield Intelligence Preparation of the Urban Battlefield (Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, School of Advanced Military Studies Monograph, United States Army Command and General Staff College, 1991). Johnson looks at the applicability of the United State's Army's intelligence doctrine to see if the graphics-based analytical methodology now common in the Army is appropriate for modern urban warfare. His conclusions are mixed. Johnson asserts that the current doctrine must be more flexible and must be able to address a much greater degree of detail if it can be made suitable for modern urban warfare. While Manual de Metodos is not oriented toward urban combat, it includes some of the kinds of graphic considerations that Johnson suggests.
58 For a taste of the future of control architecture see Malcolm Gladwell, "Danger is Seclusion's Companion: In the modern American city, the sanctuary of a park is often at war with safety, Washington Post National Weekly Edition, January 20-26 1995, pp. 10-11.