The Bahamas Weekly Facebook The Bahamas Weekly Twitter
News : International : Caribbean News Last Updated: Dec 5, 2014 - 10:25:14 PM


Studies reveal crime’s toll on Latin American and the Caribbean economies
By IDB
Jan 24, 2013 - 2:23:24 PM

Email this article
 Printer friendly page

Crime and violence have had a dramatic impact on women, youth and the economic well-being of families in Latin America and the Caribbean, according to several studies commissioned by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The new studies underscore the more hidden dimensions of the cost of crime on Latin America’s economies, by looking at issues such as women’s health and property values.

The studies were the result of a call for proposals to academics and other experts to use innovative and appropriate methodologies to measure the cost of crime and violence in the region. Out of a total of 117 proposals received, eight are being presented by their authors at a Jan. 24–25 seminar at the IDB headquarters in Washington.

The children of women who have suffered from domestic violence have a greater risk of being born underweight, and grow up with more feeble health, with less chance they will be vaccinated and more likely to suffer from diarrhea, according to one study on seven countries in the region .

In Brazil , a greater sense of insecurity lowers the value of urban properties through higher rents. Pregnant women in Brazil are more likely to give birth to underweight babies if they live in higher crime areas, to cite a few examples.

In Mexico , a 1 percent increase in the number of homicides decreases the price of a home by 1.8 percent. In Uruguay , the economic costs of violence total $1.2 billion a year, or 3.1 percent of GDP. 

Latin American and Caribbean citizens cite crime and violence as their top concern, above unemployment, healthcare and other issues. The region suffers from some of the world’s highest homicide rates and 20 of the world’s most violence cities are located in Latin America and the Caribbean. Public trust in public institutions and the police is also lower than for other regions in the world. 

“Crime has tangible direct costs such as the cost of funding a private and public security infrastructure to prevent and combat crime,” said Ana Corbacho, sector economic advisor of the IDB’s Institutions for Development (IFD) Sector, which covers citizen security at the IDB. “But the implications of crime on the region’s wellbeing are potentially much greater. Violence not only victimizes individuals—it undermines trust in public institutions.” 

In Mexico, municipalities with greater levels of violence triggered by drug cartels during 2006–2010 had electricity consumption—a proxy for GDP—trail those by less violent municipalities by 6.8 percent per year. Municipalities with higher homicide rates also experienced lower employment and lower levels of business ownership, according to one study.

In Uruguay, the consequences of crime cost $319 million, including the cost of stolen property and the opportunity costs from jail time. 

One study focuses on juvenile delinquency. In Colombia , youths who are captured and sentenced are 15 percent less likely to access the formal education system, which represents 0.9 years of education. 

“A better understanding of the economic costs of violence and crime is vital for public-sector decision-making in the citizen security sector,” said Gustavo Beliz, an IDB specialist. “It allows for a discussion more grounded on hard information, among officials in ministries who deal with the areas of security, planning, and budgets. This helps violence prevention policies become policies of the state.” 

The IDB’s Citizen Security Platform 

The Citizen Security Platform of the IDB has a completed or under execution project pipeline greater than $450 million. It aims to support the efforts of public institutions to better prevent crime and violence with actions that include social initiatives focused on the creation of opportunities for young people, strengthening management of police and penal justice, and with better rehabilitation.


Bookmark and Share


© Copyright 2013 by thebahamasweekly.com

Top of Page

Caribbean News
Latest Headlines
Caribbean Fisheries Forum to review regional spiny lobster declaration
EPA Capacity-Building Project Launched
Quotable Caribbean: Obie Wilchcombe, Bob Butler, Karolin Troubetzkoy and more...
Caribbean Film Festival Launches in Hollywood for 10th Anniversary of Caribbean-American Heritage Month
1st Caribbean Safe and Secure Conference and Exhibition - June 18 – 20, 2015
Caribbean Film Mart and Film Database to Launch in September
Partnerships between Caribbean and EU businesses to be bolstered by 3rd CARIFORUM-EU Business Forum
International Women's Day: Changing the Status Quo
CWC and Facebook Collaborate to Offer Free Wi-Fi in the Caribbean
Bahamas wins Miss Spicy Caribbean
The Blue Economy offers rich rewards to Caribbean countries that seize the moment
Quotable Caribbean: Freundel Stuart, Beverly Nicholson-Doty, Esther Thomas and more...
Greater Participation in Tourism by the Caribbean, and As One - says Wilchcombe
Anguilla Tourist Board Concludes US Tour
700,000 Euros Awarded to Haitian and Dominican Republic Firms
Haiti's Tourism Repositioned at ITB Berlin
Multi-jurisdictional Conference Proves The Caribbean Region Can Work Together
Barbados conference to boost small states’ access to development finance
Quotable Caribbean: Keith Chin, Dennis Morrison, Shomari Scott and more...
Largest Offshore Financial Services Conference urges Delegates to consider “Global Dynamics, Regional Solutions
Robin Thicke, Jon Secada, and Beres Hammond among top talent at St. Lucia Jazz Festival
St. Lucia Carnival Queen Auditions Announced
Cayman voted best hedge fund services jurisdiction by Hedgeweek
Caribbean Labour Ministers commit to strengthening social dialogue, while focusing on youth employment and the greening of the economy
Highest Results In Four Years For CIBC Firstcaribbean
Karolin Troubetzkoy appointed chairman of Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism
Kennedy Funding Financial Suspends Lending in the U.S. Virgin Islands
Executive Committee of the Caribbean Fisheries Forum Meeting to be convened in St. Vincent
Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival to be held, April 30 to May 10
CARICOM Chairman on St. Kitts and Nevis general election results
Changing Faces of Leadership at University of the West Indies
Quotable Caribbean: Dr. Didacus Jules, Lorne Theophilus, Dave Clark, Steve Dumaine...
Caribbean Export supports CARIFORUM States meeting
1st annual Caribe Film Fest opens Feb 27 in MIami
CTO reports record tourist arrivals and earnings for the Caribbean in 2014
Netflix Now Available in Cuba
Freeport Shines at Major Central American & Caribbean Summit
Quotable Caribbean: Frank Comito, Emil Lee, Roger J. Dow, and more...
LPM Dismisses UWP Leader’s Speech as “Pomp and Splendour”‏
Nurse’s training at cancer conference in Toronto to help impact care of young patients and their families in Barbados