Belize is a small country of 350,000 inhabitants that is uniquely both Central American and Caribbean. The country has largely fallen under the radar of gang scholars, despite having one of the highest homicide rates in the world. Similar to neighbouring Northern Triangle countries it has been affected by ‘gang transnationalism’. This chapter uses original empirical data to explore how Bloods and Crips from the USA flourished in Belize City in the 1980s, arguing that gang transnationalism makes cultural connections between local settings of urban exclusion, between origin and destination countries. Poor black and brown young men joined gangs contributing to a rise in street violence. Counterintuitively, homicide rates rose most dramatically as violence became less organised when Blood and Crip structures fragmented at the turn of the millennium, and the next generation of gangs emerged. The gang identities that followed are a culturally syncretic evolution of the Bloods and Crips, ‘Creolising’ over time, demonstrating the fluidity of post-transnational gang life.
|Title of host publication||The Routledge Handbook of Gangs|
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 7 Nov 2019|