Crime and Violence in Latin America

LAS 4935
SECTION 1133, CLASS # 26409
LAS 6938
SECTION 1122, CLASS # 26653

Days: Mondays
Times: 12:50 – 3:50 pm
Location: Grinter Hall 376


Latin America is currently ranked as the most “violent” and “dangerous” region in the world. How accurate is this claim? What types of violence and crime have actually risen in the region, and where? What factors contribute to crime and violence in the region? How are crime and violence experienced? And who bodies have come to represent and be criminalized by insecurity? In this class, we will seek to contextualize crime and violence in the region by analyzing historical trends and current factors, and will explore the wide variation in national and sub-national crime rates. During the course, we will discuss how boundaries between the legal and criminal, the licit and illicit are drawn and how they have been transformed in recent decades. We will analyze discourses, practices and experiences of state terror; address the rise of delinquency and insecurity from urban centers to rural peripheries; and explore the conditions and consequences of organized crime in the region. And we will ask how U.S. politics, Latin American governance, criminal actors, geography, and the environment have shaped criminality and responses to it.


Dr. Rebecca Hanson
Assistant Professor
Center for Latin American Studies
Department of Sociology, Criminology, and Law
Phone: 352-294-7191

Research Interests
Crime and Citizen Security; Political Sociology; Urban Sociology; Policing; Social Movements and Citizen Participation; Gender; Latin America; Qualitative Methods.

Geographic Expertise
Venezuela and Colombia