Costa Rica Coffee Guide

2006 Murder Rate on Track to Set New Record:Wave of Violence Grips Guatemala

February 10, 2006

GUATEMALA CITY – The bodies of six men who had apparently been tortured and then shot and strangled to death were found Monday near Guatemala City, emergency workers said.

A fire department spokesman said the bodies of four of the victims, ranging in age from 18 and 24, were found on a deserted road in Santiago Sacatepequez, some 29 kilometers from the capital.

“They were strangled and shot to death.

We found it strange that the four were wearing two sets of clothing,” the fire department spokesman said.

The bodies of two other men were found in a vacant lot in Villa Nueva, on the outskirts of Guatemala City.

The continued wave of violence this year in Guatemala claimed the lives of 419 people in January, and 30 others have been killed so far this month, according to official figures.

Human Rights Prosecutor Sergio Morales said recently that the violence plaguing Guatemala “has become an epidemic.”

He said Guatemala registers an average of 40 murders per 100,000 inhabitants each year, a rate that exceeds the world average reported by the World Health Organization of 10 per 100,000 people.

In 2005, there were 5,338 violent deaths registered in Guatemala and it is feared, if the current trend continues, that this year could be even worse.

The country has a slaying rate per capita more than quadruple that of New York City. Guatemala has 14 million people. By way of comparison, New York City, with a population of 7.4 million, averages fewer than 600 murders per year.

Officials have blamed the violence on the Central American country’s numerous youth gangs, other organized crime groups and drug trafficking.

Guatemala has 22,000 police officers, and about 1,000 soldiers have been assigned to provide security at various locations, especially areas considered to be high-crime neighborhoods.

According to official statistics, the youth gangs, known as “maras,” have more than 60,000 members, mostly males between 12 and 25 years of age, far outnumbering the country’s police forces.

 

You may be interested

Costa Rica closes embassy in Venezuela as cost-cutting measure
Costa Rica
1620 views
Costa Rica
1620 views

Costa Rica closes embassy in Venezuela as cost-cutting measure

AFP - October 1, 2020

Costa Rica on Wednesday announced the closure of the country's embassy and consulate general in Caracas, effective Thursday, as part…

Ports and highways blocked in rejection of Costa Rica’s IMF proposal
Costa Rica
21728 views
Costa Rica
21728 views

Ports and highways blocked in rejection of Costa Rica’s IMF proposal

The Tico Times - October 1, 2020

Protesters blocked roads and ports in different parts of Costa Rica on Wednesday in a protest against planned negotiations with…

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Wednesday, September 30
Costa Rica
5592 views
Costa Rica
5592 views

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Wednesday, September 30

Alejandro Zúñiga - September 30, 2020

Costa Rica announced 24 new coronavirus-related deaths over the last day for a total of 904, according to official data…