murderIn a recent report released by the United Nations Africa is declared as the region with the highest number of murders in the world. Honduras is the most violent country in the world, with a rate of 90.4 intentional homicides per 100,000 inhabitants, said the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, based on data from 2012.

Honduras is followed by Venezuela with 53.7. But what is making headlines on this side of the globe, especially here at home, is that Belize ranked third in the list. According to the UN’s report Belize ranked third with 44.7 murders for every 100,000 inhabitants. El Salvador placed fourth with 41.2.

Bear in mind that in the report rates above 20 are considered serious. The UN study attributed the high murder rate in Latin America to organized crime and decades of political violence.

Thirty six percent of the 437,000 murders committed in the world in 2012 occurred in America, especially in Central and South America. The majority, 66% were committed with firearms. The UN reports that Mexican drug cartels have wreaked havoc in Central America, bringing unprecedented levels of violence in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, countries and routes used as basis for the storage of drugs intended for the U.S. market.

In the list of countries with the highest rates of intentional homicide appears also Guatemala with 39.9 per 100 thousand inhabitants, South Africa with 31, Columbia with 30.8, Gabon with 28, Brazil with 25.2 and Mexico with 21.5.

Iraq, which is emerging from a bloody armed conflict, has a murder rate of 8 per 100,000 inhabitants.

Africa was the region with the second highest number of intentional homicides, with 31% of the total. Asia was up 28%, Europe 5% and 0.3% Oceania.

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