Trends in uterine cancer mortality over the period 1955-1988 were analyzed for 14 selected Latin American countries and for the United States and Canada on the basis of the official death certification data from the World Health Organization database. In the late 1960s uterine cancer mortality in Latin America ranged from 7.8/100,000 in the Dominican Republic to 26.4/100,000 in Venezuela and was around 10/100,000 in the United States and Canada. Over the last two decades most Latin American countries (with the exception of the Dominican Republic and Ecuador) showed declines in mortality rates ranging from about 10% in Argentina and Mexico to 25-35% in Cuba, Chile, Uruguay, and Venezuela. These declines were however appreciably smaller than those in the United States and Canada, where falls in uterine cancer mortality approached 50%. In comparison with recent rates in the United States and Canada (around 5/100,000), mortality from uterine cancer was still high in all Central and South American countries (between 11 and 20/100,000), with the sole exception of Puerto Rico (6.3/100,000). The highest rates were in Paraguay and Ecuador (over 20/100,000). The overall variation in all age-standardized uterine cancer mortality in Latin America remained around threefold during the period 1965-1988 (i.e., between 22/100,000 in Paraguay and 6.3/100,000 in Puerto Rico). However, if the United States and Canada were also considered, the ratio between the highest and lowest mortality rate at all ages increased from about threefold during the period 1965-1969 to over fourfold in the late 1980s. This diverging pattern between North and Latin America was even clearer in young women (20-44 years), when most uterine cancer originates from the cervix, and less evident in the elderly. In the young, recent upward trends were observed in Argentina, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic. These mortality patterns are discussed with reference to risk factor exposure, cytologic screening programs, changes in hysterectomy rates, treatment, and case ascertainment and certification.