Latin America

Building better borders in Latin America

Illegal trading and the violence that can accompany it is a scourge along Latin America’s borders, but researchers from across the region are working together to find ways to combat the problem.

Throughout much of Latin America, borders can be dangerous places. Smuggling, drug running and human trafficking are lucrative businesses — the United Nations estimates that the illegal drug trade in the region is worth $450 billion a year — and those that control it are not afraid to use violence to protect their investment.

It’s the people who live near borders that have to deal with the consequences of this violence, says Fernando Carrión, a researcher at the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences in Quito, Ecuador. “Border towns suffer from murder, robbery and insecurity, which hinders local development and integration between countries,” he says. Read more in Canadian Geographic.