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Almost half of world’s most violent countries are in Latin America

The Americas Post - El Salvador was more dangerous than Iraq

According to a statement released this week by the office of the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development, six of the 14 most violent countries on this planet are located in Latin America.

Launched by the United Nations in 2008 and now signed by 110 countries, the Geneva Declaration has the stated goal of supporting governments and civil society in their efforts to significantly reduce violence by 2015 and beyond.

“One quarter of all violent deaths were produced in just 14 countries” stated the report titled “Global Burden of Armed Violence”.  Six of those countries with the highest death rates are El Salvador, Honduras, Colombia, Venezuela, Guatemala and Belize.   The document attributed many of the deaths to armed groups involved in drug trafficking.

Violent deaths in Central America averaged 29 per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by South Africa with 27.4 and the Caribbean with 22.4.  El Salvador was the most violent country on Earth, with over 60 deaths per 100k.   Between 2004 and 2009, that average was higher than Iraq, which held second place.  Brazil ranked 18th in the world for violent death rate, while in spite of its drug war Mexico came in at 51st place.

“Violence levels in Mexico remained stable at 11.5 deaths per 100,000 from 2004 to 2009.  But this average, which shows that most areas of the country are generally secure, hides a bitter reality:  that some cities and regions suffer extraordinary levels of violence, higher than those often seen in war zones”, the report stated.