2014 Latin America Security Index
Public Insecurity in Latin America
This index examines how each country in the region is working towards reducing the levels of public insecurity, with particular focus on the business community. This allows us to see the longterm trends in terms of the improvement or worsening of the security situation.
Our categories are based on official federal, provincial and municipal-level figures, concerning areas such as homicides, felonies, organized crime and drug trafficking, cargo and warehouse theft, home invasion, kidnapping, political and labor unrest, riots and violent demonstrations, as well as analyses of the effectiveness of government programs intended to address these problems. Only reliable government reported data has been considered as well as data and studies generated by NGOs and multilateral organizations. We analyze credible regional media, in order to obtain more specific information about certain phenomena, as well as academic research on the subject. Finally, we also utilize information gathered directly through our own work and business contacts in the region.
Over the past decade, Latin America has mostly demonstrated strong economic growth with better integration, more commitment to the weakest social sectors, and with more entrenched democratic governments. However, social mobility and inclusion has not eliminated the scourge of public insecurity. It remains, together with organized crime, money laundering, corruption and drug trafficking, paramount on regional government agendas.
The phenomenon of organized crime and extreme violence surrounding the activities of drug cartels and the movement of drugs from production to consumer markets continues to be a major source of public insecurity in parts of Central America and Mexico. Additionally, social and political unrest has become a factor for some of the more troubled economies, such as Venezuela. Finally, despite significant investment that has led to marked improvements in some countries such as Colombia and Brazil, they have seen a resurgence of crime that has been difficult to control.
Public insecurity in the region continues to demand significant resources from the business community to protect its critical assets, and has a corrosive effect on the region’s competitiveness in the fight to attract investment dollars.