1 in 50 Central American Men Murdered by Age 31: UN

Situation is nearing a 'crisis point'

By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 6, 2011 2:07 PM CDT

(Newser) – This is basically insane: A new UN report says that one in 50 Central American 20-year-old men will be murdered before they turn 31. Unsurprisingly, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime says the situation is nearing a "crisis point." The report places much of the blame on violence between drug trafficking groups in the last five years, but also notes that the bump in murders coincided with the 2008-2009 financial crisis.

The murder rate in Central America had fallen between 1995 and 2005, before heading sharply upward beginning in 2007. It's now "several hundred times higher than in some parts of Asia," notes the report, which was issued today and is the agency's first report on homicides worldwide. Reuters reports that 468,000 people were murdered around the globe last year; 80% of the killers and victims are men, and the homicides usually occur on the streets. Female victims are typically murdered in the home, by a family member.

In this photo taken Nov. 25, a man who was injured when trying to help someone under assault waits for medical attention at the emergency room of the San Juan de Dios hospital in Guatemala City.
In this photo taken Nov. 25, a man who was injured when trying to help someone under assault waits for medical attention at the emergency room of the San Juan de Dios hospital in Guatemala City.   (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
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