Global Homicide Report places Belize at 6 in rate increase
The rate of murder in the Caribbean and Central America is near crisis point. And with today’s murders, the count for 2011 is now at one hundred and six. And while this number is alarming for Belizeans, a recent study entitled “Global Study on Homicide” ranks Belize as having the sixth highest homicide rate globally. According to the report, Belize is indicating a record rate of forty-one point seven per one hundred thousand people. Belize City, according to the study, has a rate of one hundred and six point four, which is double the national statistic. The steady increase in homicides clearly shows that Central America and the Caribbean are among the regions with considerably higher homicide rates. The intentional homicide rate is led by Honduras, El Salvador, the Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Venezuela, followed by Belize and Guatemala. While there was a steady decline in homicide rates in Central America from 1995 to 2005, the sub region has experienced a sharp increase in the homicide rate since 2007. The Caribbean has, with the exception of a temporary drop in 2006, experienced a steady increase over the past decade. As elsewhere, homicide trends in Central America and the Caribbean are influenced by numerous factors. A 2007 United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime study pointed out that many countries in the region were vulnerable to crime and violence for a number of reasons, including their legacy of armed conflicts and violence, the easy availability of guns, chaotic urbanization, high income inequality, a high proportion of youth, local gang structures, as well as organized crime and drug trafficking.