By Benjamin Flowers Staff Reporter
Belize had the third highest murder rate in the region for 2012, a report released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime says.
The UNODC Global Study on Homicide 2013, launched last Thursday in London, presented 2012 statistics which showed Belize having a murder rate of 44.7 murders per 100,000 people.
Venezuela ranked second with a rate of 53.7, and Honduras topped the region with 90.4. Countries such as Uruguay, Costa Rica and Chile had rates of less than ten percent.
The report compiled data from over 200 countries worldwide, showing that homicides claimed the lives of almost a half million people.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon emphasized the importance of having the data as the international community prepares to formulate post 2015 development goals.
“Development progress cannot be achieved or sustained amid violence, insecurity and injustice,” Moon said.
The report also highlighted that while 75 percent of homicide perpetrators are male, and 96 percent of homicide victims are male, that females are still at a higher risk globally.
“Clearly more must be done to improve States’ capacities to effectively prevent, investigate, prosecute and punish all forms of violence against women.”
More than 36 percent of homicides occurred in the Americas, 31 percent in Africa and 28 percent in Asia, while Europe 5 percent and Oceania 0.3 per cent accounted for the lowest shares of homicide at the regional level.
Belize’s had a particularly violent year in 2012, with a total of 145 murders, including the early morning murder of four residents which caused a mid-morning shutdown of Belize City.
The United States Department of state also issued a travel advisory warning US citizens to avoid making trips to Belize because of the level of violence prevalent at the time.
In 2013 the murder fell by 33 percent, going from 145 in 2012 to 99. The decrease in the murder rate is in sufficient to say that murder rate reduction has become a trend.