Citizen security in Latin America: Facts and Figures
Many Latin American countries, states and cities are facing a chronic public security crisis. In spite of more than a decade of modest economic growth, crime and victimization rates are rising, not dropping. Nevertheless, recent information of 2017 show some signs of improvement. Criminal violence is routinely singled out as one of the top concerns of citizens from across Mexico, Central America and South America. And there are warning signs that the region ́s high rates of criminal violence and victimization will continue rising if nothing is done.
Latin American priorities and approaches to public security have shifted over the past two decades, with growing attention devoted to citizen security. In contrast to traditional law and order approaches to crime, citizen security privileges a more comprehensive and people-centered conceptualization of security and safety – including more data-driven policing, smarter approaches to criminal justice, alternatives to incarceration, and investments in primary, secondary and tertiary prevention.
The following report sets out the broad parameters of Latin America ‘s crime challenges and explores innovations in promoting public safety and citizen security. It also underlines the heterogeneity of Latin America ́s security environment, including the strong differences between regions, countries, states and cities. Taken together, the report issues a descriptive assessment of the scope and scale of the challenges, as well as opportunities for CAF to support partners in their efforts to prevent and reduce crime and improve safety for all Latin Americans.