While the nature of organized violence in Colombia and Guatemala has been given considerable attention at the national level (see Chapter 3), there remains little understanding at the local level as to how such group violence is organized. Yet this is essential for comprehending both the multiple realities of violence in communities, as well as the processes of the ‘democratization’ of violence, discussed in Chapter 1. Along with the ‘normalization’ of violence in both Colombia and Guatemala (Pecaut 1999; Torres-Rivas 1999), a plethora of local-level violence-focused organizations and groupings have emerged.