Violence in Latin America and the Caribbean: A Framework for Action

Mar 1999
Considering the high prevalence of domestic and social violence and their linkages, the focus of this analysis is the broader subject of violence rather than the narrower one of criminal violence. A violent act may or may not contravene existing legislation and consequently may or may not be labeled as "criminal" by the criminal justice system. What triggers violence in Latin America and the Caribbean? What can be done to curb violence, both within the home and outside it? What can be learned from the region's experience with violence? To help answer these questions, this paper presents a classification of types of violence, charts some of the principal socio-economic costs that result from violence, and identifies the principal contributing or risk factors. It also attempts to link policy recommendations for reducing violence to the factors that generate it. Finally, the paper outlines broad priority areas for future action to reduce violence in the region.