Honduras is on track to reach a murder rate of 86 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2011, while El Salvador could see a rate of 72 per 100,000, according to new reports.
There were an average of 20 homicides committed daily in Honduras in the first half of 2011, according to the National Commission for Human Rights (CONADEH). A report by the commission said that if homicides continue at this rate, Honduras could have 86 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants for the year as a whole.
Honduras’s national commissioner for human rights, Ramon Custodio Lopez, expressed concern at rising homicide rate, describing the situation as an "epidemic."
The estimate for 2011 would represent a significant rise in homicides on the previous year. Honduras finished 2010 with a rate of 77 murders per 100,000 inhabitants
The homicide rate is also on the rise in neighboring El Salvador, where close to 2,900 murders were committed between January 1 and August 31 this year, representing an average of 12 each day. In August alone, Salvadoran police recorded 391 killings across the country.
If homicides were to continue at the same rate as in the last eight months, El Salvador would end 2011 with around 4,400 homicides. With a population of some 6.1 million, this would put the murder rate at 72 per 100,000.
According to statistics quoted by the U.S. State Department, El Salvador had a murder rate of of 64.4 per 100,000 in 2010.
Meanwhile, the third member of Central America’s crime-ridden Northern Triangle, Guatemala, had a homicide rate of approximately 41 per 100,000 people in 2010. However, according to the World Bank, the Guatemalan region of Peten, one of the country’s most dangerous areas, has a murder rate of between 80 and 90 per 100,000 inhabitants.