Crime and violence in Latin America
Crime and violence are affecting the lives of millions of people in Latin America. Some consider social inequality to be a major contributing factor to levels of violence in Latin America, where the state fails to prevent crime and organized crime takes over State control in areas where the State is unable to assist the society such as in impoverished communities. In the years following the transitions from authoritarianism to democracy, crime and violence have become major problems in Latin America.Several studies indicated the existence of an epidemic in the region; the Pan American Health Organization called violence in Latin America ""the social pandemic of the 20th century."" Apart from the direct human cost, the rise in crime and violence has imposed significant social costs and has made much more difficult the processes of economic and social development, democratic consolidation and regional integration in the Americas.