Tico Towns’ Murder Rates Spike
If downtown Limón, on the Caribbean, or Tibás, on the north side of San José, were major U.S. cities, their murder rates would rank right up there with the notoriously crime-ridden Detroit, Baltimore and Newark.
The Limón canton counted 48 homicides in 2008, jumping 33 percent from the 36 in 2007, giving it a rate of 45.8 murders per 100,000 inhabitants. The canton of Tibás, home to León XIII, one of the country’s most dangerous neighborhoods, hit a rate of 39.2.
Downtown San José wasn’t far behind, reaching a rate of 28 per 100,000.
All three numbers are considerably higher than the national homicide rate of 9.6, or even those of the greater Limón and San José provinces at 17.5 and 13.5, respectively.
Both Central Valley cantons saw the number of homicides increase significantly over 2007, too: Tibás’ doubled from 12 to 25, and San José’s shot up 52 percent, from 63 to 96, according to numbers released by the Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) on Thursday.
Homicides nationwide increased 25 percent, from 349 in 2007 to 435 in 2008. The national homicide rate in 2007 was just under 8 per 100,000 people.
Homicides in Alajuela and Puntarenas provinces each went up 27 percent. The number of murders in the provinces of Guanacaste rose from 16 to 24, in Cartago from 7 to 14, and in Heredia from 18 to 20.
Murder numbers in the Limón province, on the other hand, increased just 12 percent on the year, from 67 to 75.
These rates in Costa Rica are low compared to other countries in the region, such as El Salvador and Honduras, which usually record more than 50 murders per 100,000 citizens. Central America typically has one of the highest regional homicide rates in the world.
The U.S. national murder rate was 5.6 in 2007, the most recent year for which statistics are available, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. That number saw no statistically significant change from 2006. In 1993, the homicide rate in the U.S. was 9.5, the highest of the last 20 years.
Detroit saw the number of murders plummet from 182 in the first six months of 2007 to 136 in the same period in 2008.
You may be interested
U.S. Southern Command delivers hygiene supplies to Costa Rica’s Education MinistryAlejandro Zúñiga - October 24, 2020
The United States Southern Command delivered a significant donation of hygiene supplies to Costa Rica's Education Ministry (MEP) in a…
Costa Rica begins new dialogue in search of solution to serious fiscal crisisAFP - October 24, 2020
Costa Rica on Friday opened a dialogue with many sectors of the country in search of an agreement to overcome…
‘Hasta siempre, doctor Solís’: Costa Rica mourns doctor’s deathThe Tico Times - October 23, 2020
Jaime Solís, a 54-year-old doctor who worked for the Costa Rican Social Security System, is among the more than 1,200…