Diabetes is a principal and growing health concern in Latin America, accounting for significant mortality and morbidities. Large, randomized, prospective trials of various interventional therapies in patients with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes have demonstrated that reductions in hyperglycaemia and management of diabetes-related risk factors can significantly reduce the micro- and macrovascular complications of diabetes. Therefore, patients with type 2 diabetes will benefit from more aggressive treatment regimens to help decrease the occurrence and rate of progression of diabetic complications. Given the many complexities of diabetes management, it is often difficult for general practice physicians to stay abreast of emerging treatment strategies and therapies. Owing to the high prevalence of type 2 diabetes in Latin America, the majority of patients with diabetes are treated by generalists rather than specialists. This article was intended to assist physicians and other healthcare professionals in developing and using effective treatment strategies to stem the growing epidemic of diabetes and its complications in Latin America.