Costa Rica’s Homicide Rate in 2023 is 2.50 per day or 17.73 murders per 100,000 inhabitants. This year, Costa Rican authorities have recorded 836 murders, 175 more than the 661 reported in 2022. The country has already exceeded last year’s record numbers by 26.48%.
This year, the country known for safety and security has reached record highs in homicides; the Rodrigo Chaves government is struggling to address the mounting security problems.
Costa Rica has long been recognized for its reputation as a safe and stable country with a strong emphasis on environmental conservation, a robust education system, and a booming tourism industry. However, this year, the country is witnessing an alarming rise in homicide rates, which could potentially tarnish its image as a Pura Vida destination.
|Per 100,000 inhabitants||12.8||17.7|
SEE ALSO: Central America Homicide Rate
Costa Rica has experienced an increase in homicides every month in 2023 compared to the previous year. April 2023 saw the most significant growth with 37 more murders, a 77.08% rise from the same month in 2022.
This year, the provinces with the highest homicide totals are San Jose, registering 206, and Limon, close behind with 205. Puntarenas follows with 130, and Alajuela with 94.
|San Jose||120||206||86 (71.67%)|
Alajuela and Heredia are the two provinces that have recorded a lower number of homicides compared to the previous year.
Costa Rican authorities have taken a variety of measures to stem the recent increase in drug trafficking and homicides. However, the homicides seem to be increasing.
Drug trafficking and organized crime have driven the spike in homicides to a country known for safety. These criminal groups fight over control of territories for drug selling and distribution.
The Rodrigo Chaves administration has taken steps to deal with the issue. For example, in February, it announced millions of dollars in assistance from the United States to combat drug trafficking.
Then, in May, Costa Rica’s legislature increased pretrial detention periods as a part of a series of anti-organized crime reforms.
Lastly, in July, the government launched Operation Sovereignty (Operación Soberanía) in Moín, with authorities promising to scan every container transiting through the port in search of drugs.
Costa Rica is not a producer of narcotic substances; however, its location makes it one of the largest export platforms of narcotics to many nations.
The increase in homicides not only increases the feeling of citizen insecurity but also damages the image of a country that, until a few years ago, enjoyed the lowest figures of violence in Central America.