The Social Science Research Council in New York has supported a programme of research on Drugs, Security, and Democracy with fieldwork in Central America and the Caribbean. Social scientists have faced the challenge of operating in areas affected by chronic police and non-state violence. A growing number of scholars are conducting research on high-risk topics, gathering data on communities that experience conflict; writing and publishing on these difficult and sensitive issues; and developing and implementing programs to deal with the needs of communities affected by violence. The literature on safe practices for those working in high-risk environments remains thin. The DSD Working Papers on Research Security series seeks to address this deficit by examining a range of research security concerns, providing a framework to help those working in the region consider how they can enhance their own safety as well as the safety of their associates and research participants. The lessons are transferable to research in other conflict or high-risk zones, anywhere in the world.