“In communities scarred by violence, many don’t know what peace looks like. Teenagers in Brazilian favelas, Jamaican garrisons, and Honduran slums see these crime wars as a natural state of affairs. It’s normal to have men on the corner with Kalashnikovs, shots ringing out at night, corpses hanging from bridges.’’
Ioan Grillo’s new book shines a torch on the darker side of Latin America and the Caribbean—specifically, on the grotesque institutional violence used by criminal gangs. Grillo begins his journey in the slum cities of Rio de Janeiro. This is dangerous work. In 2001, a Brazilian investigative journalist attracted the ire of a gang and was subjected to a street trial.