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When it comes to combating crime and homicide in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) —home to 41 of the 50 most dangerous cities in the world—policymakers have few tested tools at their disposal. Although evidence is scarce, recent efforts to produce rigorous research is helping to broaden our understanding of what works in reducing violence and crime in the region.

The Becker Friedman Institute (BFI) at the University of Chicago, Princeton University, and Innovations for Poverty Action are pleased to announce the launch of a new series focusing on violence and crime in Latin America and the Caribbean. This monthly series aims to shed light on novel innovative research on violence and crime in the LAC region and its policy implications.

This series is open to the public and all are encouraged to attend. Each seminar will be presented in English with Spanish simultaneous translation.

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Can intensifying municipal and community governance displace gang rule? Urban criminal groups rule tens to hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Despite their prevalence in cities around the world, there is little information available to policymakers about effective strategies to reduce their influence. In Medellín, Colombia, gangs instill a form of order and justice in the communities in which they operate. This research tests the role and impact of an anti-gang intervention designed in partnership with the City of Medellín and community officials that aims to increase the role of the city government in providing public services and reduce the role and control of criminal gangs.

The first seminar featured Harris Public Policy’s Christopher Blattman, Universidad EAFIT’s Santiago Tobón, Princeton University’s Maria Micaela Sviatschi, and the Republic of Colombia’s Jairo García, and was moderated by IPA Peru’s Bárbara Sparrow.

Agenda

Wednesday, February 10, 2021
10:00 am
Gang Rule: An Experiment in Countering Criminal Governance
Christopher Blattman (Speaker), Ramalee E. Pearson Professor of Global Conflict Studies, Harris School of Public Policy; Co-Director of BFI Development Economics Initiative
Santiago Tobón (Speaker), Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for Research in Economics and Finance, Universidad EAFIT
Maria Micaela Sviatschi (Speaker), Assistant Professor of Economics, Princeton University
Jairo García (Policy Discussant), Vice Minister of Defense for Strategy and Planning for the Republic of Colombia
Bárbara Sparrow (Moderator), Policy Manager, IPA Peru