The Costs of Crime and Violence: New Evidence and Insights in Latin America and the Caribbean (Executive Summary)

Feb 2017
Jaitman, Laura
This publication is the first to provide a comprehensive, systematic and rigorous analysis of the costs of crime in Latin America and the Caribbean. The main challenges in the region are addressed: the social cost of homicides, private and public spending on security, the penitentiary crisis, violence against women, organized crime and cybercrime. The volume estimates that the direct cost of crime for 17 LAC countries in 2010-2014 is, on average, 3.5 percent of the region's GDP--twice as much as in the developed world. This volume also provides a detailed analysis of the costs of crime in Brazil by state, as well as an examination of the geographical distribution and drivers of crime in the most dangerous subregions: the Northern Triangle in Central America and the Caribbean. The situation in terms of violence against women and cybercrime is assessed: the region is lagging behind to confront these new and old crimes. The complete version of this publication is available at