Why is Latin America the most violent region in the World?

24th Feb 2022

For three decades, Latin America has been the most violent region in the world, with a sustained and upward trend. According to the United Nations, the American continent accounts for 37% of homicides worldwide, with only 8% of the world's population. Moreover, projections for 2025 and 2030 maintain this upward trend.

Sometimes these levels of violence have been explained by educational, political or economic factors; however, if we analyze global indicators we can see that these are not explanatory causes. The analysis of why Latin America is the most violent region in the world requires a slow and deep reflection on other complex issues such as state fragility.

If we resort to simplifications and stereotypes about the region, the answer to these levels of criminal violence is immediate. Latin America is a poor and unstructured region and for some without democracy. In other words, unproven prejudices and stereotypical assumptions about the region help to immediately associate homicides and criminal violence with poverty, low levels of education, low levels of well-being in general, and the shortcomings of failed democracies.

This simplified reality would explain, without much difficulty, the violence in the region. We must analyze data in detail and resort to indices such as the Fragile States Index to make us reflect.

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