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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Homicide rate steady in Costa Rica, but July was safer

Costa Rica has recorded 327 homicides so far this year, equaling the number over the same span in 2020, according to official figures.

However, July added the fewest homicides for that month since 2015. The 34 homicides last month were 15 fewer than in July 2020, when the country registered 49 deaths of that type.

So far this year, San José is the region with the greatest decrease in homicides, with 22 fewer cases. On the other hand, the Central Pacific region has seen an increase of 27 homicides compared to the same period in 2020.

Costa Rica’s homicides this year by province:

  • Alajuela: 39
  • Cartago: 20
  • Guanacaste:18
  • Heredia: 29
  • Limon: 72
  • Puntarenas: 68
  • San Jose: 72

These preliminary numbers may change as investigations into several deaths are still ongoing, Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) said.

Costa Rica registered 569 homicides in 2020, representing a slight increase over 2019 (563). However, those were far outpaced by 2018 (585 homicides) and a record-setting 2017, when Costa Rica suffered 603 homicides.

The high homicide rates in 2017 and 2018 were largely attributed to drug trafficking and score-settling between gangs, according to OIJ.

The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies anything over 10 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants as an epidemic. Costa Rica’s homicide rate has remained above that benchmark since 2015.

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