Making Cities Safer: Citizen Security Innovations from Latin / Robert Muggah, Ilona Szabó de Carvalho, Nathalie Alvarado, Lina Marmolejo and Ruddy Wang

Magazine-AE20-300x214Cities are where the policy and practice of citizen security are determined. Although national and subnational strategies are essential to scaling-up crime prevention, cities are where they are put into practice. Because of the way they bring opportunities and risks into focus, cities are natural laboratories of policy innovation to prevent and reduce violence. Some of the most remarkable progress in homicide reduction, crime prevention and public safety in recent decades has occurred in large and medium-sized cities, especially in Latin America and the Caribbean.

This report explores the evidence of what works, and what does not, when it comes to promoting citizen security in Latin American and Caribbean cities. While not exhaustive, the report features a range of positive and less positive experiences of 10 municipalities and metropolitan areas across the region. The goal is to highlight the change in approach from hardline law and order approaches to ones that emphasize multi-sector and preventive measures. The structure of the report is straightforward. Each case study includes a broad overview of the context and problem, a description of the intervention and how it was implemented, and some reflections on the outcomes and impacts. SEE MORE…

Latin America’s cities: unequal, dangerous and fragile. But that can change / Ilona Szabó de Carvalho, Robert Muggah

Latin America is one of the planet’s most urbanized regions. Three of its mega-cities are among the world’s largest – Buenos Aires, Mexico and Sao Paulo. Sprawling metropolises like Bogota, Lima and Rio de Janeiro are not far behind. These cities are complex, competitive and dynamic. Many Latin American cities also suffer from what some scholars refer to as “peripheralization” – they are fragmented, segregated and exclusionary. In a word, they are fragile.

The bulk of Latin America’s urbanization is taking place behind the scenes. In addition to the massive cities and conurbations up and down Latin America’s Atlantic and Pacific coastlines, there are another 310 cities with populations over 250,000 and another 16,000 smaller towns. Today, 82% of the population lives in cities. Already some 93% of Venezuelans, 92.5% of Argentinians and Uruguayans, 90.6% of Brazilians, and 89.3% of Chileans live in cities. SEE MORE…

It’s official: San Salvador is the murder capital of the world /Robert Muggah

THey found the sergeant’s severed head on a bridge. His name was Baltazar Olayzola Diaz, and he had served with the Soyapango municipal police force. Baltazar’s beheading, the national police chief said, was staged by ruthless maras, or gangs, who were negotiating for better prison conditions. He was the 49th police officer assassinated in 2015, and one of 17 people killed that day.

It’s official. El Salvador is the world’s most violent country and its capital, San Salvador, is the world’s most homicidal city. Salvadoran cities have seen more blood spilled than most conflict zones. They are also hemorrhaging people, many of whom are fleeing to Mexico and the United States.

According to new figures produced by the Institute of Legal Medicine in El Salvador, there were 6,656 killings in the country last year. That translates into a national homicide rate of almost 116 per 100,000, more than 17 times the global average. Compare El Salvador’s totals with the 516 slayings reported in 2014 in Canada, a country with almost six times the population. SEE MORE…

It’s really hard to say which city is the world’s most murderous / Renata Giannini Robert Muggah and Katherine Aguirre

The news trickling out of Caracas just keeps getting worse. A recently published ranking of the world’s most dangerous cities listed the Venezuelan capital at the top of the charts. The city’s murder rate supposedly reached an eye-watering 120 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2015, almost 20 times the global average. City officials were quick to dismiss the list as fatally flawed.
The annual ranking of the world’s most violent cities is produced by a Mexican research group called Security, Justice and Peace, or SJP. For the past few years SJP has generated big headlines for its review of the 50 most murderous cities. While attracting media attention, the organization’s methods are coming under increasing scrutiny.
Predictably, Venezuelan authorities argue against the findings, specifically the one that Caracas is the world’s most violent city. It’s hard to know for sure since they seldom make disaggregated crime data available. For example, local officials recently announced that 17,778 Venezuelans were murdered in 2015. This compares to 27,875 homicides reported by the Venezuelan Observatory of Violence (OVV) for the same year. SEE MORE…

El libro en el escondite de El Chapo / Roberto Saviano – El País

Las proclamas gubernamentales y las declaraciones victoriosas que siguen a las detenciones de criminales ilustres siempre me han hecho reflexionar. Nací y crecí en el sur de Italia, el país que cuenta con las organizaciones criminales más poderosas y peligrosas del mundo y sé bien que cuando uno de sus jefes es detenido, eso no significa que el Estado haya obtenido una victoria. Cuando un jefe es arrestado es porque se ha vuelto débil, es porque otros le han vendido, es para salvarse de una posible ejecución, es porque ha decidido colaborar con la justicia, incapaz de soportar ya la clandestinidad. Cuando un jefe es detenido, los que menos deberían alegrarse por ello son los políticos, para no quedar como simples marionetas o, peor aún, como chacales, para no ser objeto de mofa y escarnio. VER MÁS…

¿Cómo Honduras “dejó de ser el país más violento del mundo”?

Mano dura, cero tolerancia a la delincuencia, un soldado en cada esquina.

La receta de Juan Orlando Hernández para atacar el crimen en Honduras le empezó a dar resultados.

El presidente acaba de cumplir dos años al frente de un país que ya no carga con el título de más violento del mundo, aunque cada día asesinen a 14 personas.

Pero mientras Hernández dice que Honduras está saliendo de la “época oscura” en materia de seguridad, existen algunos cuestionamientos por las verdaderas cifras, críticas a la controvertida militarización y cierta incertidumbre por el éxito de la estrategia a largo plazo.

América Latina: 1.678 mujeres, asesinadas en 2014 por razones de género en 17 países

Al menos 1.678 mujeres fueron asesinadas en 2014 por razones de género en 14 países de América Latina y tres del Caribe, según datos oficiales recopilados por el Observatorio de Igualdad de Género de América Latina y el Caribe de la CEPAL.

“No podemos permitir que sigan muriendo más latinoamericanas y caribeñas por el solo hecho de ser mujeres”, dijo este martes la Secretaria Ejecutiva de la Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), Alicia Bárcena, en la víspera de la conmemoración del Día Internacional de la Eliminación de la Violencia contra la Mujer, el 25 de noviembre. VER MÁS…