Crime’s Toll on Latin America


Mexican troops operating a random checkpoint in 2009.

Crime in Latin American and Caribbean countries has undermined trust in public institutions, damaged economies, hurt property values and had a dramatic impact on women and youth, according to a new series of studies on violence in the region.

The eights reports were commissioned by the Inter-American Development Bank, an organization that finances development in Latin America and the Caribbean, and were presented at a gathering of researchers in Washington, D.C. last week.

Researchers determined that violence costs Uruguay 3.1 percent of its gross domestic product ($1.2 billion a year), found lower employment and business ownership in Mexican regions struggling with drug cartel violence, and noted a correlation in seven countries between exposure to violence among pregnant women and low birth weight.

A study of juvenile detention in Colombia found that “youths who are captured and sentenced are 15 percent less likely to access the formal education system.”

Read the papers HERE.

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