Category Archives: El Salvador

Year end homicide statistics for Central America

Year end homicide statistics are starting to trickle in and it looks likes a mixed year. The worst performing country was El Salvador where authorities claim that homicides increased by 57% in 2014 compared to the previous year. With 3,912 homicides, the country's homicide rate finished at approximately 63 per 100,000. Given the large number of disappearances, it's not clear if homicides have actually increased or whether gangs are no longer hiding the bodies (that's been one of the anti-truce arguments for awhile). Speaking of the 2012 gang truce, President Salvador Sanchez Ceren admitted that the previous Funes government, of which he served as vice president, negotiated the pact with the gangs.

Honduras remains the most violent country in Central America with a homicide rate in the upper 60s. However, 2014 was a significant improvement over 2013 (79) and 2012 (85). Honduras, El Salvador and Venezuela finished the year with homicide rates higher than Iraq and Syria. Not entirely a big fan of the comparison, but it does give you an indication of how desperate conditions are in those three countries.

Homicides in Belize increased in 2014 and the country finished with a rate of approximately 34, roughly a 20% increase.

On the positive side (?), Guatemala, finished the year with a homicide rate of approximately 31 per 100,000.
Carlos uses the National Civil Police's numbers. They measure murders. INACIF, which measures violent deaths, always has higher numbers that the PNC. Fortunately, they also show a decrease. Here is Carlos again with a look at homicide rates since 2009.
That's rather impressive, no? It's even pretty close to Colombia's 2014 rate but I'm sure everyone knew that.

Central America remains one of the most violent region's of the world. Maybe I am a bit optimistic that the two more populous countries, Guatemala and Honduras, were able to reduce their homicide rates once again.