The Road to Hemispheric Cooperation: Beyond the Cartagena Summit of the Americas

Public Security Challenges in the Americas

Public Security Challenges in the Americas

Kevin Casas-Zamora and Lucía Dammert are right to call for a comprehensive approach to fighting crime in Latin America. The need to incorporate well-designed socio-economic approaches into anti-crime strategies applies not only to policies toward social phenomena such as Latin American youth gangs, but also to fighting organized crime. This is because large populations in Latin America in areas with inadequate or problematic state presence, great poverty, and social and political marginalization continue to be dependent on illicit economies, including the drug trade, for economic survival and the satisfaction of other socio-economic needs. For many, participation in informal economies, if not outright illegal ones, is the only way to assure their human security and provide any chance of their social advancement.

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