MANAGUA – Nicaragua has become the safest place in Latin America due to its sophisticated “Containment Wall” public safety strategy, officials said on Tuesday.
“We have a comprehensive public safety strategy,” Managua deputy police chief Fernando Borge told EFE. “It is (due to) the joint effort by all institutions and the National Police, with the population playing a major role.”
Nicaragua’s murder rate dipped to an 11-year low of 7 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2017, the lowest among the Central American countries, according to Borge.
The country’s murder rate is also the second-lowest in Latin America, with Managua being the second-safest capital in the Western Hemisphere, trailing only Ottawa, Canada.
More than half of the calls received by the Emergency Response Service (SEREP) call center concern misdemeanors such as street fights, thefts or traffic accidents, unit head Marco Antonio Lanuza told EFE.
The 70 men and women working at SEREP handle between 6,620 and 8,350 calls a day, with a police response time of between seven and 10 minutes after a call is terminated.
The quick police response time is due to tight organization at the district, sector and neighborhood level, as well as a sophisticated approach to patrolling the streets, said Lanuza.
According to Borge, the absence of the gangs that terrorize other Central American nations in Nicaragua “is the result of the (state’s) ‘Containment Wall’ strategy against organized crime and international drug trafficking.”
In 2017, Nicaraguan police received a total of 80,092 reports of all kinds – 17.5 percent fewer than in the prior year – and homicides accounted for only 431 of those reports.