The Impact of Drug Trafficking in the Dynamics of Homicides and Robberies: Causal Relations in 32 Metropolitan Areas in Latin America

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 4:15 PM
Room: Booth 54
Oral Presentation
Francisco de Paula ROCHA AMORIM , Programa de Pós-Graduação em Sociologia, Univ Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil
Juan Mario FANDIÑO MARIÑO , Programa de Pós-Graduação em Sociologia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil
This paper presents an empirical verification of the influence of narcotics trafficking in the crimes of murder and robbery in 32 cities in Latin America, through the analysis of crimes reported by newspapers of those cities in the years 2006 and 2011. The aim of this study was to measure the impact at a continental level of illegal drug trade in prevalence to other crimes, taking also into account contextual variables. From the understanding that urban crime has a strong endogenous organizational component, the central hypothesis was that drug trafficking was the main factor of the outbreak of violence experienced in this region of the planet. To measure the weight of this illegal activity on other crimes, we used a quantitative methodology. Through multivariated statistical analysis, the rates of the three offenses were tested with control variables exogenous in relation to the crimes. The sociological findings are that there is a significant influence of the drug trade in the dynamics of the two crimes. In the case of robberies, the relation between crime rates was positive and strong in both periods studied. Homicides, however, were influenced by the drug trafficking only in the first period of time researched. In the second period researched, the rate of robberies (influenced by drug dealing) was the variable that impacted most in the prevalence of murders at a continental level.