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Latin American populism

What have the new populists done about crime?

One of the most powerful and emotive issues in any political campaign is the issue of crime and personal security. While conditions vary from country to country, Latin America has some of the world’s highest crime rates. The impact of crime and the fear of crime on daily life is both negative and extremely powerful. Victimisation surveys in Mexico have shown that roughly one third of households know someone in their immediate circle who has been a victim of crime over the last year. Other surveys have recorded fear of visiting specific high-crime neighbourhoods, or even fear of walking after dark. Many Latin America countries have very high rates of unreported crime, reflecting fear and mistrust of the police, who are often seen to be complicit with criminal organisations.

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