Violence Research in Latin America and the Caribbean: A Literature Review


  • Peter Imbusch University of Wuppertal
  • Michel Misse Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro
  • Fernando Carrión FLACSO Quito



Latin America has long been a violence-prone continent. No other region of the world knows higher homicide rates nor has such a variety of violence. Political violence, guerilla movements and civil wars, bloody revolutions, brutal dictatorships, domestic violence, criminal violence, and youth violence are all well known throughout history. This article gives an overview of the historical development of violence in Latin America and the Caribbean, examining its specificities and changes. The focus is on the recent explosion of violence and crime since the 1980s. As a literature review, it summarizes the main findings of academic research on violence in the different Latin American countries, thus providing additional insights into the major topics and research interests of Latin American and international institutions. After a short introduction and some remarks on the historical development of violence, the main part of the article deals with the recent rise of violence in the region. A special focus is on youth violence. At the end, the causes, costs, and consequences of violence for the Latin American societies are addressed.






Focus: Violence and Violence Research in the Global South