GUATEMALA CITY – Guatemala recorded between January and May a total of 2,343 murders, 10.2 percent less than the same period in 2013, according to figures released on Tuesday by the state National Institute of Forensic Sciences (Inacif).
The first five months of 2014 had a daily average of 15.5 homicides, less than the 17.2 during the same time last year.
Guatemala suffered a total of 6,072 murders in 2013, up from 6,025 in 2012.
Protecting Guatemala’s population of more than 15 million are 31,500 police agents, though the government of President Otto Perez Molina has plans to increase that number to 35,000 by the end of the year.
Levels of lethal violence in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador are greater than in some countries suffering armed conflict, according to a report released last week in Geneva.
The study was the work of the Assessment Capacities Project (ACAPS), created by three NGOs: HelpAge International, Merlin and the Norwegian Refugee Council.
“At 90.4 homicides per 100,000 people, Honduras remains the most violent country in the world. El Salvador (41.2) and Guatemala (39.9) have higher homicide rates now than during their civil wars,” ACAPS pointed out.
“The homicidal violence in the Northern Triangle results in considerably more civilian casualties than in any other countries, including those with ongoing armed conflicts or war, such as Democratic Republic of the Congo (28.3 in 2012) and Afghanistan (6.5 in 2012). In 2012 the global average homicide rate was 6.2 per 100,000 people,” the report said.