Friday, May 05, 2006

Murder rate still rising

El Salvador's murder rate, already the highest in Latin America, is continuing to rise. La Prensa Grafica reports that there were 55 more murders in the first four months of 2006 than in the corresponding period in 2005. There have been 1143 murders in the country since the beginning of the year.

The government seems to be helpless to stop the rise in murders. Every few months the government comes out with a new plan to tackle the violence, yet there is no change to the pace of the killing, and only a small percentage of the murders are ever punished. There are no simple answers. Among the many things which must happen, police must receive training and resources, the justice system must become efficient, opportunities must be created for the marginalized members of El Salvador's society, programs must be developed to keep youth out of gangs, and a culture must emerge which rejects violence as a method to solve disputes.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have an idea...

Why not sign a mutual defense agreement with the USA, and thus abolish the military - or reduce it to Costa Rica style - mainly police. This would save hundreds of millions of dollars, eliminate a source of corruption and trouble, and allow for a much stronger police force, with more funds to back up the whole system, with much to spare.

Anonymous said...

That is too simple, El Salvador has a history of militarism, and corruption is not isolated only to certain sectors of society. Factors that influence the violence in El Salvador include the legacy of the civil war, poverty, and corruption too. The Costa Rica model does not fit to El Salvador because of all of this reasons.