Crime in Latin America

Image may contain: Rectangle, Organism, Black-and-white, Art, Font.

"Up in Arms". Photo: jACK TWO (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

About the project

Crime in Latin America has risen sharply the last two decades. This is closely connected to the growth of US drug markets, brutalization of drug trafficking, increasingly important role of gangs, poverty, diminishing trust in governments, and weakness or failure of states.

By developing a culturally sensitive life-course criminology, Crime in Latin America (CRIMLA) aims to understand the role of family, employment, culture and the state in criminal trajectories and careers in Latin America. Combining criminological theory, with institutional, cultural and narrative studies, the objective is to develop research and theorizing from the Global South.

CRIMLA, headed by professor in criminology Sveinung Sandberg, explores the overall research question ‘What is the best way to theorize and understand the criminal careers and life-course trajectories of Latin American offenders?’ 

These questions are addressed through qualitative life-story interviews with prisoners in six Latin American countries; Mexico, Honduras, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina and Chile.


Crime in Latin America (CRIMLA) is funded by the Research Council of Norway Grant for scientific renewal and development in research that can help to advance the international research front.


Partners on the project are professor Carolina Agoff (Centro Regional de Investigaciones Multidisciplinarias - UNAM) and professor Gustavo Fondevila (Centro de Investigacion y Docencia Economicas - CIDE).

CRIMLA includes several research exchanges and a cross-continental advisory board that will facilitate mutual learning between criminology and related disciplines in Scandinavia and Latin America.

Published Sep. 20, 2021 9:36 AM - Last modified Apr. 22, 2022 1:27 PM


Project Leader