Deborah Yashar gave an interesting talk at the luncheon today at SECOLAS. She's in the middle of a project that examines the geography of violence in Latin America, and especially why it occurs in some places and not others. The basic argument is that the growth of violence seems to correspondent to the growth of illicit drug routes. She looked at the region, but then also within countries (the cases of El Salvador and Guatemala) since violence is not distributed evenly within them either. She argued that the violence was not about the drugs per se, but rather the conflict over territorial control, either between DTOs and with the government. Someone in the audience brought up a good question about Venezuela, where there is a lot of violence in Caracas for example, without being a major transit route. She acknowledged it as an anomaly, admitting it was a work in progress (I liked her candor about weaknesses in the argument, actually).