Latin America’s murder rate higher than wars in Middle East

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By Mark Ellis –

Women protest violence in Chile

About 2.5 million people were murdered in Latin America and the Caribbean between 2000 and 2017, much more than the 900,000 killed as a result of warfare in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan combined, according to U.N. figures reported by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

The murders in Latin America and Caribbean were much higher than the 243,000 people killed in terrorist attacks worldwide during the same period.

There is a murder crisis throughout the region, with more than 400 people murdered every day.

Caracas, Venezuela, considered the world’s most violent city

“Nearly one in every four murders around the world takes place in just four countries: Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, and Columbia,” David Luhnow noted in the WSJ. “Last year, a record 63,808 people were murdered in Brazil. Mexico also set a record at 31, 174,” with murders up 20% this year.

Bodies are accumulating in the Acapulco morgue faster than workers can process them. “We never catch up,” Ben Martinez told the WSJ. “While we’re trying to clear the first set of bodies, another set of bodies arrives.”

Last week, the top forensic official for the state of Jalisco was fired after two trailer trucks were found roaming the streets of Guadalajara carrying 150 cadavers because the morgue was too full. “Officials admitted the trucks contained corpses after neighbors complained of the smell and dripping blood,” the WSJ noted.

Bullet cases left on the floor of a house in a slum complex in Rio de Janeiro after gunbattles.AFP PHOTO / YURI CORTEZ

Sadly, children are being killed in the crossfire. “Before, criminals never killed kids,” Martinez noted. “But now, I do autopsies on seven or eight-year-olds.” Mr. Martinez also teaches at a local college and has been distressed at having to perform autopsies on former students.

At current rates, if you live in Acapulco, Caracas (Venezuela), or San Salvador for 70 years, there is a roughly one in 10 chance you will be murdered.