"This paper aims to advance discussions on human security and how the concept serves as a tool for approaching new(and longstanding) issues of internal and external security in the Latin American context, more specifically in the Brazilian context. It begins by examining the concept of human security, considering its links and practical applications to the problem of violence. It is argued in this paper that human security is more than a normative framework and must be reformulated into an operational and analytical tool. Human security-oriented analysis needs to be more clearly focused on armed violence, a growing phenomenon in Latin America and other parts of the Southern hemisphere. A short review of the current problems in Brazil is undertaken and a case study of Viva Rio, a NGO that works within the human security framework, is discussed. Finally, the paper provides some recommendations for increased cooperation among organizations of civil society, government and private enterprise within and among southern nations. It also makes recommendations for the consolidation of a common international agenda."