Mapping the Transnational Circulation and Control of Small Arms in Latin America

The aim of the project is to inform evidence-based policy interventions seeking to curb the proliferation of military-style rifles and promoting regional security in Latin America.

Funder: Swiss Network for International Studies (SNIS)

Small arms and light weapons play a central role in the political and criminal violence patterns observed in Latin America and beyond. Among the various types of small arms used in the region, military-style automatic rifles are particularly prevalent and serve as a compelling case study for examining the emergence of violent dynamics and identifying effective entry points for policy responses and international cooperation initiatives.

Since there are still significant gaps in understanding small arms' transnational circulation, and crucial analytical gaps regarding the social, cultural, and economic dynamics associated with their proliferation in Latin America, this project will generate a comprehensive, two-layered cartography of the circulation and control of military-style rifles in this area.

The first layer will gather quantitative data on rifle flows over the past decade, along with qualitative data on sociocultural and gendered perspectives that shape gun cultures and their political economy. The second layer will investigate the adoption and implementation of international, regional, and national norms on small arms and light weapons in Latin America, evaluating their policy impacts.

Through a mixed-methods interdisciplinary research approach involving European and Latin American universities, NGOs, and international organizations, this project will inform evidence-based policy interventions aimed at curbing the proliferation of military-style rifles and promoting regional security in Latin America.

More on the project here.

For further information on the project, please contact:


sas logoNicolas Florquin
Head of Data and Analytics





Project partners
Graduate Institute CCDP logo


IRI PUC Rio logo


Small Arms Survey logo


CERAC logo


Sou da Paz logo


UNAM logo