HomeNewsBriefReport Highlights Financial Cost of Insecurity in LatAm
BRIEF

Report Highlights Financial Cost of Insecurity in LatAm

CARIBBEAN / 5 FEB 2015 BY ARRON DAUGHERTY EN

A new report on the financial cost of insecurity and criminality throughout the world highlights the vicious cycle of violence and economic trouble afflicting many countries, while also highlighting possible security trends in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The study by the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP) based its estimates (pdf) on the likes of spending on public and private security forces, incarceration costs and lost GDP due to violence and murder.

Honduras topped the region with violence inflicting an estimated direct cost of 19.2 percent of GDP in 2013, ranking it sixth globally. Its Central American neighbors El Salvador and Guatemala also saw noteworthy yearly increases in the cost of violence between 2013 and the year prior. In contrast, Caribbean nations Haiti, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago saw meaningful decreases in the direct cost of violence.

2015-02-05-graphic-CostOfViolence

In the same period Mexico and Peru saw the regions' biggest year-on-year increase in direct violence costs, resulting in Mexico rising 25 spots to 25th worldwide, while Peru jumped 43 rankings to 119th.

2015-02-05-graphic-GlobalRank

Brazil, Ecuador, Panama and Venezuela saw only slight changes in the estimated costs of violence between 2013 and the previous year, while Colombia's cost of violence compared to GDP dropped significantly, resulting in a five spot slide down the rankings.

InSight Crime Analysis

While the economic cost of violence and instability grabs fewer headlines than the gory aftermaths of gang shoots outs or the high profile arrests of crime bosses, it is a critical indicator of how the lives of those with no direct involvement or experience with organized crime are affected.

Violence can scare off foreign investment, while making business for local firms more expensive and harder to conduct. Such circumstances can drive unemployment, which itself often increases desperation and criminal activity, thus creating a vicious cycle.

The rising cost of violence in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala coincides with reports of bloodshed and instability caused by increasingly potent street gangs. During El Salvador’s failed 2012 to 2014 gang truce, social and employment projects were a significant element of attempts to get gang members to leave their criminal lifestyles.

SEE ALSO:Honduras News and Profiles

Meanwhile the huge jump in economic damage caused by violence in Mexico reflects the ongoing security crisis created by drug cartel rivalries as well as confrontations with security forces. A central bank survey of economists revealed security issues are expected to be the single biggest detriment to Mexico's economy in 2015, indicating this trend is likely to continue.  

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 17 NOV 2020

A series of assassinations on Ecuador’s southern border with Peru have been attributed to gang members fighting for control of…

COCAINE / 30 AUG 2022

Cocaine in Australia remains difficult to access, with traffickers either selling low-quality or entirely fake doses.

MEXICO / 23 MAY 2022

Mexico is seeing a rapid spike in oil theft across much of the country, with observers divided as to whether…

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…