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arraigo: A form of preventive detention used an alternative to arrest, in which a suspect is placed in a facility such as a “safe house” guarded by police during the investigation

averiguación de antecedentes: The police act of detaining someone to check his or her police record

barrio: A low-income urban neighborhood in Venezuela and other countries

cifra negra: Number or percentage of unreported crimes

cocaleros: Coca growers who formed a powerful movement in Bolivia

código de faltas/contravenciones: Misdemeanor code

colonias: Defined residential areas in Honduras

comisaría: Police station

comisario: Police officer

criterio de oportunidad: A rule allowing prosecutors to refrain from prosecuting, often needed to decongest the prisons of petty criminals and those who cooperate with an investigation

cuadrantes: Urban blocks used in community-oriented policing, in which separate units are responsible for all areas of security

defensoría del pueblo: Ombudsman

desestimadas: Dismissed or overruled cases

expediente: Generally meaning a file or record, but usually used as the term for a police report on a crime presented to prosecutors (fiscales)

fiscal: Public prosecutor

Fiscalía General/Ministerio Público: Public prosecutor’s office, in charge of criminal investigation and prosecution

inspector: Police detective

Judicial Police: The police agency conducting a criminal investigation, usually under the direction of the Public Ministry

juez de ejecución: Judge of the sentencing court

Mara 18: One of the largest youth gangs—one of the two super-clikas—in Central and North America

Mara Salvatrucha (MS): One of the principal maras in Honduras and the rest of Central America

maras: The criminally oriented gangs of Central America, Mexico, and the United States

medidas cautelares: Preventive measures

mesas: The term commonly used for citizen forums

organic law: The founding and basic law in an area of the law

patronato: In some countries, the title of the head council of a neighborhood

penal code: The legal code specifying and defining acts that constitute crimes

penal process code: The legal code specifying the processes for investigating crimes and prosecuting suspects

Preventive Police: The main division in most police agencies responsible for basic street policing

Proceso: Short for Proceso de Reorganización Nacional (Process of National Reorganization), the official name of Argentina’s 1976–83 military regime

razzias: Mass police roundups, usually in poor neighborhoods

tutela: Direct legal suit

villa: The term used for low-income neighborhoods in most of Argentina

Additional Information

Related ISBN
MARC Record
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Creative Commons
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