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Terrorism is defined as politically motivated and organized acts of violence meant to cause fear and panic in society in order to change people’s behavior. Although terroristic actions may appear random or insane because of the extreme and often random forms of violence they employ, the purpose of terrorism is political: to weaken an opponent such that he or she will capitulate due to fear of victimization. Narcoterrorism occurs when drug-trafficking organizations perpetrate violent actions of this kind. Narcoterrorism happens primarily in Latin America, especially in Mexico, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Brazil. Terrorism in this form is a relatively new form of political violence that has had a profound impact on political life in Latin America. This entry provides an overview of the ...

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