Economic Crisis Triggers Global Crime Wave

Crisis gives globalized crime gangs opportunity to flourish
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 7, 2009 8:35 AM CDT
A farmer carries his son in a coca field in Ayacucho, Peru. Villagers are facing a resurgent Shining Path movement, believed to be boosting its power by working with drug traffickers.   (AP Photo/Karel Navarro)
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(Newser) – The global economic crisis has been a massive stimulus package for violent crime worldwide, Michael Klare writes in Salon. Crime syndicates are finding it easy to recruit from the growing ranks of the unemployed and desperate, the professor writes, and their increasing power is weakening the governments of "narco-states" from Latin America to Africa.

The spike in piracy on the high seas is one symptom of the crime epidemic, Klare writes, as is a steep rise in executions in China. China's economy is in far better shape than places like Guinea-Bissau, Klare notes, but mass layoffs there appear to be fueling a rise in crime and consequent state repression—a process likely to be repeated in many other places without urgent action to help the world's destitute.