MEXICO CITY (Reu-ters) – Honduras retains the world’s highest murder rate, according to a United Nations report published yesterday, with the Americas overtaking Africa as the region with the most peacetime murders per 100,000 people.
Torn apart by gang warfare and invaded by Mexican drug cartels, the Central American nation of Honduras had a 2012 murder rate of 90.4 homicides per 100,000 people, almost double Venezuela’s rate of 53.7.
According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime’s report, Central America fared particularly badly. Belize had a murder rate of 44.7, while El Salvador’s was 41.2 per 100,000.
In a previous report in 2011, Honduras topped the list, with El Salvador in second place and Venezuela in third.
In the UN’s latest report, the Americas overtook Africa as the region with most murders, thanks to a surge in organized crime, which is often funded from the proceeds of drug smuggling.
Nearly 40 per cent of the 437,000 murders committed globally in 2012 took place in the Americas, with the majority in Central and South America, the report found.