By Alexis R. Milan
A report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) titled “A Global Study on Homicide 2013” has named Belize as the third most homicidal country in the world.
According to the report, Honduras, Venezuela, Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Jamaica, Swaziland, St. Kitts & Nevis, South Africa, and Colombia are the top 10 most homicidal countries in the world.
Belize’s national homicide rate is 44.7 per 100,000 residents while the homicide rate for Belize City particularly is over 100 per 100,000 residents. Honduras had a homicide rate of 90.4 per 100,000 while Venezuela’s homicide rate was 53.7 per 100,000 residents.
According to the report, Belize like many other Caribbean nations show increasingly violent trends linked to gangs and organized criminal groups involved in the narcotics trade.
Latin America and the Caribbean continue to have the highest homicide rates in the world, according to the report. East Asia and the Pacific have the lowest homicide rates in the world.
The report also made note that it was of concern that the United States had the highest homicide rate of any industrialized country in the Western hemisphere.
The report names several factors as impacting the homicide rates, including drug trafficking, corruption in the police department and judicial system, lack of education, easy access to guns and income inequality.