As part of the XXI Meeting of the MERCOSUR and associated States Working Group on Firearms and Ammunition, the Public Policies Association (APP) introduced the Human Security in Latin America and The Caribbean Working Group (SEHLAC) and launched “The Regional Report on States’ Capacities to address armed violence”, during a parallel event. While Diego Fleitas (APP) set out the main aim of the project, members of delegations from different countries, including Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, Chile, Venezuela, Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, read the reports carefully.
This report provides a basis for dialogue between states and civil society on the incidence of armed violence in Latin America and the Caribbean, and on existing capacities to address the problem.
The study focuses on 11 countries in the region which each suffer from various types of armed violence and are differently affected by them. Moreover, the project focuses on measuring and monitoring systems for armed violence designed and put into practice between 2001 and 2011. It also considers states’ interventions to prevent and reduce armed violence implemented during the same period and analyzes existing legislation and programs aimed at assisting victims of armed violence. Regarding the latter, it is important to consider that victim assistance interventions led to the reduction and prevention of armed violence. Therefore, there is a particularly emphasis on those instruments and interventions adopted by states in order to support individuals and communities affected by armed violence.
Finally, the document sets out the main findings regarding the systems used to measure, monitor and analyze armed violence, and interventions carried out to prevent and reduce it and to assist its victims. In addition, it is important to notice that those countries with a higher number of interventions aimed at reducing and preventing armed violence, are not necessarily the most affected by this phenomenon.
Additionally, the study suggests that states should increase their efforts to support victims of armed violence by increasing the effectiveness and number of victim assistance regulatory instruments and interventions. These measures should also take into account the needs of indirect victims of armed violence and include provisions for other types of assistance such as psychological support, moral and economic reparations, and the social and economic inclusion of victims of armed violence.