Environmental volatility is frequently tied to increased violence among human groups. Here, I consider this possibility in one of the most marginal environments on the planet, the hyperarid Atacama Desert. Through bioarchaeological analyses of skeletal remains from the tumultuous Late Intermediate Period (AD 1000–1450) in the San Pedro de Atacama oases, I document direct evidence of traumatic injury and the distribution and patterns of violence across a series of Atacameño oases through time. Results indicate that these conflicts arose in these groups with diminishing resources over time but violent responses varied substantially. Evidence of temporal differences in violence suggests that climate volatility may have been a breaking point for communities living in this marginal environment and may have served as an impetus for escalating conflict. While a generalized increase in violence is notable in this tumultuous time, it is clear that those populations with less access to resources—both in material wealth and natural resources—succumbed to violent injury at higher rates than those whose situation was less precarious.