Revolutionary Policing: A case study about the role of la mística and el espíritu in the Nicaraguan Police institution and in the lives of its fundadores
Velde, B. van de
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Based on four months of anthropological fieldwork in Managua, Nicaragua, this thesis illustrates which role the mística and espíritu of the founders (fundadores) of the Nicaraguan police institution played in the establishment of the state’s institution and how they still play a role in the current National Police institution (Policía Nacional, PN) after thirty years of policing. In analyzing the mística and espíritu, la mística can be seen as the mission or vision of the fundadores while espíritu can be explained as the esprit de corps, also called the moral of a group. Although the fundadores define the concepts differently, they refer to these concepts any time. Through personal life stories I have analyzed how the fundadores tried to establish an institution out of their ideals, values and principles and how they throughout the years have tried to maintain their mística. Starting out of a revolution the fundadores have played an impressive role in the relative success and positive recognition of the police organization. The question for the Nicaraguan police is however what will happen with the institution when the fundadores leave the police. Were they able to secure safely their contribution to the institution and did they manage to instil their mística into the new generations?