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.

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

A woman holds up a sign during a rally against assisted suicide in 2016 on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario. (CNS photo/Art Babych)
The American College of Physicians called for better promotion of palliative and hospice care, which opponents of physician-assisted suicide say are underutilized areas of medicine that could address concerns of patients facing difficult illnesses.
Michael J. O’LoughlinSeptember 21, 2017
(CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)
"We have a priest who makes everyone feel welcome, says Mass with great reverence and gives meaningful homilies"
Our readersSeptember 21, 2017
Photo by Victor Lozano on Unsplash
Any willingness to cooperate across party lines is praiseworthy. Unfortunately, brinkmanship remains the preferred legislative strategy.
The EditorsSeptember 21, 2017
Pope Francis, seen here at St. Peter's Square in the Vatican on June 28, has announced two significant reforms in recent weeks by releasing statements motu proprio. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
When a pope issues a document “motu proprio,” it means he does so by his own motivation, and it can mean a significant change to church law.
Michael J. O’LoughlinSeptember 21, 2017