Document Type


Publication Date



Violence has become an increasingly serious problem in many developing countries. According to a recent (2011) World Bank World Development Report, entitled Conflict and Development: Overcoming Conflict and Fragility, security is a “primary development challenge of our time.”[1] In addition to traditional forms of urban violence, new threats have emerged such as organized crime and trafficking, civil unrest due to global economic shocks, and terrorism.[2] One and a half billion people live in areas affected by fragility, conflict, or organized criminal violence.

[1] The World Bank, “Conflict, Security, and Development,” World Development Report 2011 (Washington: The World Bank, 2011), 1.

[2] Ibid, 3.


Paper presented at SELA 2012 in Mexico City as part of the session on “Drugs and Violence.”