Homicides Menace Latin American Youth

The homicide rate among youth in Latin America is double or triple the rate in all other parts of the world except Africa, according to the World Health Organization. “It’s a huge problem in Central America,” Richard Jones of Catholic Relief Services said. El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, which suffer gang violence, are seeing an increasing impact from drug trafficking. In El Salvador the homicide level in the age group 15 to 20 is 90 per 100,000 young people—nearly five times the rate that W.H.O. considers an “epidemic.” In Brazil the youth homicide rate rose from 41.7 per 100,000 in 1996 to 52.9 in 2008. Homicide rates in Latin America could be affected by the broad availability of guns, but efforts to calculate the impact of such factors as guns and drug trafficking are stymied by a lack of data.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Jesus “is here in Lima, or wherever you are living, in the routine of your daily life and work.”
Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 21, 2018
People and cheered Pope Francis everywhere he went on this last day of his visit.
Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 21, 2018
A boy presents a hat to Pope Francis upon his arrival at the international airport in Trujillo, Peru, Jan. 20. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
“Just as the apostles faced the storm on the sea, you had to face the brunt of ‘El Niño costero.’”
Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 20, 2018
Pope Francis greets the crowd before celebrating Mass at the Maquehue Airport near Temuco, Chile, Jan. 17. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
“Pope Francis’ statements...were a source of great pain for survivors of sexual abuse,” Cardinal O’Malley said in a statement released Jan. 20.
Michael J. O’LoughlinJanuary 20, 2018