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Guatemala’s Homicide Rate Showed Modest Decrease in 2016

LADB Article ID: 80260
Category/Department: Guatemala
Date: 2017-04-06
By: Louisa Reynolds

The number of murders reported in Guatemala, one of the deadliest countries in the world outside of a war zone, decreased slightly in 2016, falling by 5.3% from 2015, to 4,590 cases, according to official data. Guatemala has the lowest murder rate of the three “Northern Triangle” countries, which also includes El Salvador and Honduras. Data shows 29 murders per 100,000 inhabitants in 2016, compared with a rate of 57 in Honduras and 83 in El Salvador. The decline in Guatemala’s homicide rate, however, represents only modest progress. The number of recorded murders leaped to a peak in 2015, making for a high base of comparison. Official data shows a much more striking downtrend in El Salvador in 2016, where the number of murders saw a 20% year-on-year decrease. Guatemalan authorities say the decline in the murder rate is due in large part to improved police investigation techniques encouraging witnesses to give evidence against assailants and the resulting increase in capture rate.

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