World Development

Latin American Urban Violence as a Development Concern: Towards a Framework for Violence Reduction

Summary

Despite growing recognition of urban violence being a serious development constraint in Latin America, there is contestation concerning its categorization, underlying causes, costs and consequences, and violence-reduction solutions. This article seeks to contribute to a better understanding of the complexity of everyday violence in poor urban communities in terms of both ongoing analytical debates as well as operational solutions. Drawing on the research literature, as well as recent participatory urban appraisals of violence in Colombia and Guatemala, and Central American violence-reduction guidelines, it develops a framework to explain the holistic nature of violence and to provide operationally relevant methodological tools to facilitate crosssectoral violence-reduction interventions.