Latin America presents very high levels of both criminal and State violence; it’s a region that is home to countries with the highest rate of violent crimes and homicides in the world. These countries are part of a drug trafficking transnational route. Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and those in Central America in particular, have alarming rates of homicides, incarceration and deaths caused by police officers and conflicts for control of the black market. In Brazil, for instance, incarceration rates have dramatically increased in the past years, creating the world’s fourth-largest prison population.
Homicides rates have been also continuously increasing, reaching 60 thousand homicides per year (10% of all people killed globally each year are Brazilians). State violence, especially those types linked to illegal markets, are extremely high: Brazilian police kill an average of 6 people a day.
It is within this context, therefore, that we are developing the 3-year project ‘Tackling Violence in Latin America’. The project is a partnership between Brazilian partners : Centre for Metropolitan Studies/Cebrap; Federal University of São Carlos; Coletivo Rebento; Human Rights Centres – Cedeca Sapopemba & Cededica São Carlos, British partners CUCR-Goldsmiths College; Kings College; The British Council, and Mexican partners : CIESAS; El Colégio de Michoacán research and academic institutions, as well as human rights centres.
Overall, the project involves a series of lectures and workshops for Brazilian legal professionals, journalists, social workers, police officers and state agents; and the production of educational videos, as well as local activities with the human right centres.
The aim of the project is to contribute to human rights awareness and a more structured understanding of violence among the general public, along with key stakeholders, in order to foster more effective public policies and actions to prevent criminality and enhance legal and judicial services. In particular, this project seeks to ensure that the voices of disadvantaged youth affected by violence and crime in the poor peripheral areas are heard, and that relevant academic studies can reach broader key audiences to stimulate both social policy and practical change.
Dr. Angelo Martins Jr is Associate Lecturer at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is a researcher at the Centre for Urban and Community Research (CUCR) and member of the Laboratory for the Study of Labour, Professions and Mobility (LEST/UFSCar).
– Programme and abstracts of the course: What (does) produce violence?–
Videos (Select Subtitles in Settings: English, Portuguese and Spanish)