HomeNewsBriefWhy Are Robbery Related Killings Rising in Quito, Ecuador?
BRIEF

Why Are Robbery Related Killings Rising in Quito, Ecuador?

ECUADOR / 22 NOV 2013 BY JAMES BARGENT EN

Robberies are the leading cause of homicide in Ecuador capital Quito, according to a new report, raising questions as to why high street crime so frequently escalates into murder.

According to statistics compiled by Ecuador government institution the Metropolitan Citizen Security Observatory (OMSC), between January and October this year, 42 people were murdered during robberies in Quito, compared to 41 over the same period in 2012, reported El Comercio.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Ecuador

These murders resulted from 4,409 cases of violent robberies, which vastly outnumber the number of reported non-violent robberies, which stands at 2,130.

In contrast, the number of murders attributed to fights and personal disputes fell from 53 cases in the first 10 months of 2012 to 29 in 2013.

However, police dispute the figure, saying of the 153 murders they have registered, 103 were a result of fights, vengeance, family disputes or psychological and emotional problems, while the rest could be accounted for by assaults and robberies.

quitorob

InSight Crime Analysis

There seems to be a large gap between the police figures and the statistics compiled by the OMSC. While the reasons for this are not clear, both sets of figures show that robberies account for a large percentage of murders in Quito, raising questions as to why theft so often results in murder.

One possible reason for this would be access to firearms, as robberies carried out with guns are far more likely to result in murder if they do not go smoothly than those carried out with other weapons such as knives.

Another possible reason is impunity levels, as thieves will be less reluctant to use violence if they feel there will be no consequences. As lawyer and criminologist Gonzalo Realpe told El Comercio, "The aggressors feel sure that they can inflict harm knowing that in very few cases will it result in a prison sentence."

The figures also suggest that despite the rise in drug trafficking in Ecuador and expansion of micro-trafficking networks in Quito -- some of which have been run by Colombian groups -- common crime and personal disputes still account for more violence than organized crime.

Evidence the expansion of organized crime has not led to an increase in violence was further provided by an overall drop in Ecuador's murder rate to 9.1 per 100,000 people from 12.4 in 2012, according to statistics collated by the national Security Coordinator. The new rate represents a drastic drop since a 2008 high of 18.9 per 100,000.

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

CHILE / 1 JUN 2022

A new report by Chilean think tank AthenaLab has laid bare Chile's ever-increasing spectrum of criminal threats, from copper theft…

GUATEMALA / 21 FEB 2012

Crime data released by police in Guatemala for 2011 indicates that the homicide rates in two provinces with significant drug…

COLOMBIA / 29 JUN 2016

The recently announced concentration zones where FARC guerrillas will gather upon the signing of a peace agreement with Colombia's government provide…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Environmental and Academic Praise

17 JUN 2022

InSight Crime’s six-part series on the plunder of the Peruvian Amazon continues to inform the debate on environmental security in the region. Our Environmental Crimes Project Manager, María Fernanda Ramírez,…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Series on Plunder of Peru’s Amazon Makes Headlines

10 JUN 2022

Since launching on June 2, InSight Crime’s six-part series on environmental crime in Peru’s Amazon has been well-received. Detailing the shocking impunity enjoyed by those plundering the rainforest, the investigation…

THE ORGANIZATION

Duarte’s Death Makes Waves

3 JUN 2022

The announcement of the death of Gentil Duarte, one of the top dissident commanders of the defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), continues to reverberate in Venezuela and Colombia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Cattle Trafficking Acclaim, Investigation into Peru’s Amazon 

27 MAY 2022

On May 18, InSight Crime launched its most recent investigation into cattle trafficking between Central America and Mexico. It showed precisely how beef, illicitly produced in Honduras, Guatemala…

THE ORGANIZATION

Coverage of Fallen Paraguay Prosecutor Makes Headlines

20 MAY 2022

The murder of leading anti-crime prosecutor, Marcelo Pecci, while on honeymoon in Colombia, has drawn attention to the evolution of organized crime in Paraguay. While 17 people have been arrested…