Latin America is one of the most violent regions in the world, and this is particularly evident in its many cities. While urban violence scholars and policymakers generally rely on homicide rates to measure levels of violence in urban environments, these objective indicators often do not capture its realities. By drawing from over six months of fieldwork in the Latin American city of Medellín, Colombia, this paper shows how Medellín has experienced a significant reduction in homicides, but both real and perceived violence continues to have a significant effect on residents’ lives. The article contributes to the urban violence debate by highlighting its complexity in Latin America and how it is not fully quantifiable.
The article has been kindly translated into Spanish by the author and can be viewed in both English and Spanish