Print version ISSN 1517-4522
BRICENO-LEON, Roberto. The new urban violence in Latin America. Sociologias [online]. 2002, n.8, pp. 34-51. ISSN 1517-4522. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1517-45222002000200003.
This article depicts the violence situation at the beginning of the 21st century in Latin America as a novel phenomenon from the sociological standpoint, both for its increase in magnitude and for its unique traits. According to the author, it is a sort of violence deprived of political origins or purposes, having only social ones, linked to the process of impoverishment in the region after the 1980s, which has created conditions of educational and work exclusion for a sizable part of the population. That new violence affects essentially the youth of the second urban generation, whose exposure to high consumption expectations cannot be met by the means prescribed by society, and who see violence and the use of firearms as a way to built their identity as men as well as to obtain the economic means to fulfill their aspirations. Delinquent violence is followed by a rise in police violence, all at high psychological and economic costs to the population. Such cost and damage are worsened by the mistrust in the penal system of justice in Latin America, and its ineffectiveness.
Keywords : violence; criminality; social situation; penal system; Latin America.