This introduction presents the core concepts that shape this special issue on the impact of violence and the processes of development in Central and South America. The understanding of development is considered in terms broader than the economic context alone, in order to assess wider social and political aspects. With a similarly expansive scope, forms of violence are addressed that range from direct physical harm and bodily attack to the often more subtle aggression of racialised abuse or the pressures on community-centred production from dominant market forces. In these contexts, violence, economic initiatives, and political allegiances form unintended and often dangerous networks of consequence for development matters. All the articles in this volume exemplify further the spatial environments of violence and diverse ‘landscapes of fear’ that shape our existence and help to define our actions, territories, and understanding of what happens around us.
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