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Citizen Security, Public Opinion and Democracy in Latin America

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Citizen Security, Public Opinion and Democracy in Latin America

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Citizen Security, Public Opinion and Democracy in Latin America

Latin America has recently undergone major political, economic and social transformations. The region is witnessing a decrease in poverty, a significant expansion of the middle class, a reduction in political polarization and a surge in optimism about the future. Economic growth is as robust as it has been for a generation. Yet despite this progress, crime remains a major cloud hovering over Latin America. According to regional opinion polls, the proportion of the Latin American population that regards crime as their top concern has more than tripled during the past decade. High crime rates and the acute fear that come with them have become major development challenges, laden with far-reaching political, economic and social consequences.

On February 27, the Latin America Initiative at Brookings will host a discussion on public opinion in Latin America—specifically pertaining to crime and security in the region—based on as-yet-unpublished data from Latinobarómetro, an annual survey that involves over 19,000 interviews in 18 Latin American countries. A panel discussion will feature Marta Lagos, president of Latinobarometro and coordinator of Globalbarometer; Heraldo Muñoz, the United Nations assistant secretary general and director of the United Nations Development Program’s Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean; Brookings Senior Fellow Carol Graham; and Senior Fellow Kevin Casas-Zamora, interim director of the Latin America Initiative. Brookings Nonresident Senior Fellow Diana Negroponte will moderate the discussion.

After the program, panelists will take audience questions.

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