HomeNewsBriefFirearm Homicides in Latin America Exceed Global Average: Report
BRIEF

Firearm Homicides in Latin America Exceed Global Average: Report

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 31 AUG 2012 BY CLAIRE O'NEILL MCCLESKEY EN

According to a recent report by European research project Small Arms Survey, 21 out of 23 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean exceed the global average for the number of homicides committed with firearms.

The report, released on August 27, shows that firearms homicides in Latin America and the Caribbean are far higher than the global average of 42 percent. Firearms were found to be used in 60 percent of homicides in South America, 61 percent in the Caribbean, and 70 percent in Central America.

The survey also reveals that countries with the highest homicide rates had more murders committed with guns. In Latin America, this relationship is most visible in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, and Venezuela -- all of which have over 30 murders committed for every 100,000 inhabitants. The proportion of firearm homicides is over 70 percent in these countries, all of which have murder rates that have been increasing since 1995.

Cuba and Suriname are the only countries in the region with proportions of firearm homicides below the global average.

InSight Crime Analysis

The alarming number of firearms homicides in Latin America, which in the United Nations’ terms is reaching “epidemic levels,” has caused concern over availability of both legal and illegal weapons in the region.

The widespread availability of firearms is one of the most frequently cited reasons for the rise in violence in Venezuela, one of the worst afflicted countries. The 2011 Small Arms Survey estimated that there were between 1.6 and 4.1 million civilian firearms in Venezuela last year.

Venezuela has tried to tackle the problem by implementing disarmament campaigns and enacting stricter laws on firearms purchases and possession. On June 1, a law went into effect that bans the commercial sale of firearms and ammunition to civilians, following an amnesty period in which citizens could turn in both registered and unregistered weapons to the government without penalty.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

ECUADOR / 19 AUG 2022

Two subjects on a motorcycle attacked prosecutor Federico Estrella outside his home in Babahoyo, Los Ríos, on August 15. Estrella…

HOMICIDES / 17 NOV 2022

Hidalgo, Mexico faces a rise in violence connected to a parallel increase in oil theft.

G9 / 20 MAY 2022

Less than a week after a vicious 12-day gang war rocked the northern communes of Haiti’s capital of Port-au-Prince, a…

About InSight Crime

WORK WITH US

Open Position: Full Stack WordPress Developer

28 NOV 2022

As Full Stack WordPress Developer You Will: Work collaboratively with other developers and designers to maintain and improve organizational standards.Demonstrate a high level of attention to detail, and implement best…

THE ORGANIZATION

Join Us This #GivingTuesday in Exposing Organized Crime

24 NOV 2022

For over twelve years, InSight Crime has contributed to the global dialogue on organized crime and corruption. Our work has provided policymakers, analysts, academics, journalists, and the general public with…

THE ORGANIZATION

Like Crime, Our Coverage Knows No Borders

18 NOV 2022

The nature of global organized crime means that while InSight Crime focuses on Latin America, we also follow criminal dynamics worldwide. InSight Crime investigator Alessandro Ford covers the connections between Latin American and European…

THE ORGANIZATION

Using Data to Expose Crime

11 NOV 2022

Co-director Jeremy McDermott made a virtual presentation at a conference hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The ‘Sixth International Conference on Governance, Crime, and Justice…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime ON AIR

4 NOV 2022

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley was interviewed for the podcast The Rosenberg Case: A Tale of Murder, Corruption, and Conspiracy in Guatemala, which explores the potential involvement of then president, Álvaro Colom,…