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Exporting Nicaragua's citizen security model

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“Our policing model is a model that is preventative, proactive, communitarian, deeply rooted in the heart of the community, and I think that that is its greatest strength, and that is what makes the difference,” she told the press last year (in Spanish). The force was created after the Sandinistas took power in 1979, replacing the National Guard of the Somoza regime, and police officials like to say that it arose from the people, and has maintained a close connection with them (in Spanish).

Some voices have highlighted structural advantages in the Nicaraguan security forces. Francisco Javier Bautista Lara, former deputy director of the force, has pointed to institutional factors as one of the reasons for its security successes, saying that both the army and the police have a high degree of stability compared to other countries in the region (link in Spanish). He cited Guatemala as a country with a particularly high rate of turnover in police leadership, which means that there is less continuity in policies, and prevents office-holders from building up experience.

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