IT IS famously tricky to compare crime statistics across frontiers. Murder figures are the best of the bunch because the offence is usually reported. According to the first globalstudy on homicide by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, most of the world’s 468,000 intentional homicides in 2010 were in Africa (36%) and the Americas (31%), where the murder rate was 15-16 per 100,000 people, more than twice the global average of 6.9 per 100,000. Homicide in most parts of the world has been falling since 1995, but it has risen recently in Central America and the Caribbean. (There are no reliable data for Africa.) The study suggests two broad trends. The first is a link between development and crime. Countries with low scores on the United Nations Development Programme’s human-development index tend to have high murder rates and vice versa. But exceptions to this reveal a second trend. Organised crime, drug trafficking, violent gang culture and the prevalence of firearms are also correlated with higher murder rates, even in relatively developed countries. Honduras and El Salvador, which have the highest and second-highest murder rates in the world (82 per 100,000 and 66 per 100,000 respectively), are the prime examples of this. One worrying final thought: sudden dips in economic performance have also been known to increase the homicide rate, usually with a lag.
Profeballa es un historiador, politólogo y profesor de la UCV, la UCAB y la UMA. Este blog contiene sus escritos historiográficos (o referencias a ellos), reseñas y críticas de los libros que lee y las películas que ve, su experiencia en las aulas junto al contenido de sus clases, crónicas caraqueñas, y las noticias de las actividades realizadas por la comunidad de historiadores de Venezuela. Sus artículos de opinión y las crónicas de la urbanización de San Bernardino pueden ser leídas en sus otros blogs.
Profeballa es el Mr. Hyde del historiador Carlos Balladares.