Violence has been a part of the LAC region’s landscape since before independence, evolving from interstate to intrastate, and, more recently, emerging as criminal violence in the 1990s. Today LAC is the world’s most violent region —home to seven of the ten cities registering the highest homicide rates. According to recent polling, insecurity is one of citizens’ two top concerns. Guest editor Jose Miguel Cruz unites top scholars to examine the complex problem from various disciplinary perspectives —history, sociology, political science, journalism, communications and public policy —to identify the drivers and manifestations of violence in Latin America and the Caribbean.