SAN SALVADOR – Authorities said May 4 that at least 1,143 people have been murdered in El Salvador so far this year, putting the national rate for murders at more than five times the average worldwide.
The figures provided by the National Police mean an average of 10 people a day are slain in this Central American nation grappling with violent crime, much of it blamed on ruthless street gangs.
This year’s murder count corresponds to the period from Jan. 1 to April 30 and represents a 5% increase over the first four months of 2005, when 1,088 people were slain.
According to statistics from the Supreme Court’s Institute of Forensic Medicine, there were a total of 3,812 murders in El Salvador in 2005, or a rate of 55.5 per 100,000 inhabitants.
The world average of death by murder, according to the World Health Organization, is about 10 per 100,000 people annually.
San Salvador province, where the capital is located, was the country’s deadliest in 2005, with a total of 1,511 murders.