Over the past two decades, countless studies have examined gang violence and the many factors responsible for causing it. These range from poor economic opportunities and social exclusion for the most vulnerable, to endemic corruption, political turmoil and the erosion of state authority. One theme remains consistent across most studies: Heavy-handed security measures will have little effect without simultaneous attempts to address the root causes of violence and improve the social fabric in gang-ridden neighborhoods.

Getting from theory to implementation is a challenge and requires an understanding of the social and spatial conditions that impact gang violence. Guatemala City has one of the highest homicide rates in Latin America, with 42.5 homicides per 100,000 residents.

For this issue of Maxar Spotlight, we studied Administrative Zone 18, Guatemala City’s largest and most violent zone. Our analysts demonstrate how Maxar’s suite of Earth Intelligence capabilities can eliminate data challenges and provide a comprehensive understanding of the sociospatial dynamics of gang violence in specific localities.

Read the periodical in full to gain a better understanding of how Maxar’s Earth Intelligence capabilities can help reveal patterns of life and insights to predict, mitigate and resolve crisis and conflict.

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Sneak Peek: (excerpt from Maxar Spotlight, Vol. 23)

Access to reliable data is the most fundamental requirement for understanding characteristics of gang violence. It is the foundation for crime prevention and police policy, and the data must be able to address key questions like:

• What are the signatures (attractors and repellers) of gang activity in a given area?
• What presence, level of engagement and trust does local law enforcement have in a given area?
• What are the entities within a given area that are best suited to lead rehabilitation programs?
• What opportunities exist for strengthening social interaction and community involvement, particularly for the youth in a given area?

Without this type of information, government officials, security personnel and other stakeholders remain reactionary.

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