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Canning House's event on 20 February explored challenges of security & violence from a variety of perspectives, looking to ascertain how current approaches could be improved and transformed into effective solutions in Latin American cities.
Following some brief words of welcome from Canning House CEO Cristina Cortes, event chair Peter Tibber, former UK Ambassador to Colombia, introduced our excellent panel of expert speakers.
Professor Jenny Pearce of the LSE Latin America & Caribbean Centre began with an introductory overview of the topic. She highlighted the raw numerical scale of challenges presented by violence in the region, recognising the failures of reductionist interpretations of and approaches to violence in cities. In particular she explained how the UK and Latin America can co-operate to improve approaches though global south-north dialogues, emphasising the distinction between a "police service" and a "police force."
Elkin Velásquez Monsalve, Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean at UN-Habitat, presented on the programme's work to implement the United Nations' New Urban Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals in the region's cities. He stressed the importance of youth development in the context of Latin America's cities' historic violence and contemporary social unrest on a regional and global scale. This, he emphasised, must come in the form of transformative processes to change narratives of youth both in vision and in action.
Finally, Lucía López Esquivelzeta, Senior Consultant in Markets and Partnerships at Control Risks, explained how investors' perspectives are affected by the risk factors brought about by challenges of security and violence in Latin American cities. Within this, she provided a statistical overview of Latin American crime in a global perspective, and explained how a process of evaluation, planning, and operations can help businesses mitigate against risks in the region and avoid damaging consequences.
Questions from the audience covered how private business can be convinced of Latin America as a region for investment, and how challenges of security and violence have been highlighted by approaches of law enforcement during the region's recent social unrest.
An audio recording of this event will be made available in due course.
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