restricted access The Impact of Criminal Violence on Regime Legitimacy in Latin America

What is the impact of exposure to criminal violence on support for political institutions in Latin America? The increase in criminal violence in the region since the return to democratic rule makes this a timely question. Several scholars have demonstrated the impact of a series of variables (political performance, economic performance, interpersonal trust, perception of corruption) on citizens’ support for political institutions (system support). The goal of this study is to assess the impact of two additional variables (victimization and perception of violence) that have been neglected in the literature. I test the impact of exposure to violence on system support by using survey data from the 2004 edition of the Latin American Public Opinion Project. My findings demonstrate that both victimization and high perception of violence have a negative impact on system support in Latin America.