HomeNewsBriefUruguay Sees Rising Violence in 2013
BRIEF

Uruguay Sees Rising Violence in 2013

HOMICIDES / 17 JAN 2013 BY EDWARD FOX EN

Uruguay registered one homicide per day in the first two weeks of 2013, prompting fears that the rise in violence shows no signs of abating after 2012 saw a record for most murders ever in the country.

Fifteen murders were registered in Uruguay from January 1-15, reported Infobae AmericaAccording to the Proposal Foundation (Fundapro), the majority of the homicides (10) occurred in the capital Montevideo.

In 2012, the city was the site of 63 percent of the 289 killings Fundapro recorded in the country for that year. A number of these murders were the result of fighting between local drug gangs in Montevideo neighborhoods, reported Subrayado.

Congress declared it will call Interior Minister Eduardo Bonomi for questioning over the rising violence.

InSight Crime Analysis

Historically one of Latin America’s more peaceful nations, Uruguay has seen escalating levels of violence in recent years. The figure of 289 murders in 2012 represented a 45 percent spike compared to 2011’s figures. Based on the CIA World Factbook’s July 2012 population estimate for the country, Uruguay had a homicide rate of 8.71 per 100,000 for last year. 

Bonomi has disputed Fundapro’s figures, saying that only 267 murders were committed.

The violence has sparked protests in Montevideo with people taking to the streets last month to demand that the government move to increase citizen security, including increasing the number of police on the capital streets.

The violence seems focused on controlling the increasing local consumption market. This is a regional trend. In a 2011 report (pdf), the Organization of American States said that prevalence of cocaine use in six countries — Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador — was 1.4 percent of the general population as opposed to the worldwide average of 0.3 or 0.4 percent. Meanwhile, consumption of cocaine amongst high school students in Uruguay went up 50 percent between 2003 – 2009 and topped that of neighboring Argentina, the report stated.

But the violence may also be due in part to the fact that Uruguay is becoming an increasingly important transhipment point for illicit narcotics. The US State Department has stated that Colombian and Mexican drug traffickers use the country to move their product, while Uruguayan officials have admitted their concern that Brazilian gangs may be using the country as a hideout to escape pressure from Brazilian authorities.

Compartir icon icon icon

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.

Related Content

DRUG POLICY / 8 SEP 2016

Uruguayan authorities have announced that they will soon establish a registry of marijuana users, the latest step in a long…

BELIZE / 16 SEP 2011

The White House has added Belize to its watch list of countries involved in the drug trade, bringing attention to…

EXTRADITION / 16 AUG 2017

The sentencing of a Zetas cartel assassin in Texas is the latest example of US prosecutors applying extraterritorial jurisdiction…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…