Homicides in Costa Rica hit a record level in 2017, as 603 people were killed — 25 more than the 578 homicides in 2016, a record at the time.
This continues a climb seen since 2012, when there were 407 killings.
Costa Rica, home to about 5 million people, closed 2017 with a homicide rate of 12.1 per 100,000 people. While that is just a fraction of the homicide rates in Central America's Northern Triangle — Guatemala, 26.1 homicides per 100,000 people; Honduras, 42.8 per 100,000; and El Salvador, 60 per 100,000 — it is the highest that Costa Rica has ever seen and more than double the rate registered in the US.I have some comments in the article as does WOLA's Geoff Thale and Adam Isacson.
National elections are scheduled to take place in February in the midst of this increasing insecurity. Catch up on political developments in the country in Americas Society Council of the Americas's Explainer: Costa Rica's 2018 Elections.