Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Economic cost of violence

There was an extensive report released on July 22, 2008 by the Salvadoran government's National Council on Public Security which demonstrates the very high cost of violence in El Salvador. The report attempts to estimate the economic costs of violent crime on the countries in Central America. Those costs include not only the lives lost, but the resources spent on law enforcement and prisons, the resources spent on private security forces, and property which is stolen. The report indicates that the economic cost to El Salvador in 2006 when there were 3928 homicides was a staggering $2 billion. This is the highest per capita cost in all Latin America, reflecting the fact that El Salvador in 2006 had the highest murder rate in all Latin America. To look at it another way, that $2 billion was 11% of the country's gross domestic product.

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