Markus Gottsbacher & John de Boer

Vulnerability and Violence in Latin America and the Caribbean

Articles & Insights | July 19, 2016 | ,

Photo by Elson Júnior. CC: BY.
Photo by Elson Júnior. CC: BY.

Latin America and the Caribbean is the world’s most violent region. Eight of the ten most murderous countries are located there and 47 of the world’s most murderous cities are in the region. Crime and violence are the number one concern of most residents.

A new book edited by Markus Gottsbacher and John de Boer, and published by Siglo XXI, sets out to document and analyze the lived experiences of individuals and communities facing high levels of violence in Latin America and the Caribbean. Examined are the strategies that people, communities and local authorities use to address and prevent the multiple forms of violence that they face in their everyday lives in the region.

Written by experts from these communities, the book covers an impressive range of issues over 17 chapters. It delves into subjects such as sexual and gender based violence, organized crime, youth violence prevention, social and economic inequalities, the violent legacies of civil war, impunity, justice, indigenous rights and also brings to light the particularly stark realities of persons living with disabilities in contexts of extreme violence.

Tackled are the fundamental dilemmas that researchers and policy makers face when trying to understand and develop solutions to the endemic violence we see tearing communities, cities and even countries in the region apart. They include confronting violence at home and recognizing the complex relationships that exist between victims and victimizers; dealing with the hazards of negotiating political settlements with criminals and gang members; and the ethical and security challenges that researchers confront when engaging criminals and violent actors. Spanning the entire region, this book is a must read for academics and practitioners.