This book presents a comprehensive view of a topic still in its embryonic stages in Latin and Ibero American criminology, violent crime. The novelty of Silvestrini’s approach lies in the use of available data, often not plentiful in Latin America. The result is path-breaking for two reasons. First, the author describes kinds of violence at different points in time. Second, she discusses violent crimes in the larger context of Puerto Rican history. The choice of the years studied, 1898-1973, was not accidental, and reflects the author’s theory that violent acts increase during times of economic crisis.
Silvestrini’s discussion of perceptions of violence through time is outstanding. She concludes that what has most worried individuals across all periods are crimes against victims, especially murder, and particularly those that appear to be random acts.
Violencia y criminalidad is as valuable as a signal work in the field as it is for its integration of historical, sociopolitical, economic, and criminological perspectives.