Costa Rica is facing a challenging situation, with the number of homicides continuing to rise year after year. If the current trend continues, the country may finish 2023 with a record number of homicides ranging between 800 and 900.
The country has already recorded 200 murders in the first three months of the year, a number that is likely to increase without urgent measures. The attorney general, Carlo Diaz, has warned that if nothing is done to curb this trend, the country could witness at least 800 cases of homicide by the end of the year.
This is not a new issue, as the country witnessed 656 homicides last year, which was the highest number in its history. Unfortunately, if the trend continues, the number of homicides will increase by at least 18%. The country now has a record homicide rate per 100,000 inhabitants, while reporting the lowest number of police officers for the same number of citizens, with only 282.
The situation is alarming, and urgent measures are required to address it. President Rodrigo Chaves has indicated that it is time for the Congressmen, the Judicial Branch, and the government to analyze changes in criminal law.
The government expects to discuss new proposals that involve the review of prison benefits, punitive criminal treatment of adolescents who commit serious crimes, and reforms regarding the confiscation of illegal weapons.
“We have a problem of war between criminal gangs, that is clear. We are currently working on several projects that will be presented in mid-April. For example, we have a plan to address the issue of teenagers who handle weapons and kill someone,” added Chaves.
In addition to these urgent measures, long-term social policies should be implemented since the lack of opportunities, study and work options becomes a breeding ground for criminals. Therefore, it is essential to focus on providing opportunities for education, work, and economic stability to reduce the number of people who may resort to criminal activities.
The situation in Costa Rica is critical, and urgent action is required to curb the increasing trend of homicides in the country. The government must take all necessary measures to address this issue effectively. Furthermore, long-term social policies should be implemented to prevent the growth of crime in the country.