Crime: The Issue That Continues to Affect Latin American Countries

By Eddie Galdamez  |  Mar 8th, 2024

Latin America continues to grapple with complex and pervasive crime challenges, ranging from organized crime and drug trafficking to high rates of violence and corruption. This multifaceted issue poses significant obstacles to social stability, economic development, and overall regional prosperity.

According to a CID Gallup survey conducted in January 2024 regarding robbery or assault, 47% of Ecuadorians and Peruvians answered that they had been victims of either theft or assault in the last four months.

Ecuador and Peru jointly secured the infamous top spot with a percentage of 47%. Nicaragua claimed the third position with 40%, while Colombia followed closely with 35%.

In contrast, El Salvador occupies the bottom spot, with only 7% indicating experiences of robbery or assault in the preceding four months.

In the second-to-last position was Panama with 13%, followed by Costa Rica with 14%. Honduras and Guatemala shared the third-best outcome, both registering at 19%.

It is significant to mention that five out of the six Central American countries had results under 20%, only Nicaragua had a high result.

It’s worth highlighting that the countries ranking highest and lowest in the CID Gallup survey are also those witnessing the most significant percentage change in homicides compared to the previous year.

Ecuador claims the top spot in the survey for robbery and assault, concurrently holding the undesirable position of having the highest homicide rate in Latin America in 2023. Ecuador’s murder rate in 2023 per 100,000 people was 44.5, an increment of 74.5% compared to 2022.

Ecuador grapples with a pressing issue of crime and violence, posing substantial challenges to its societal well-being and hindering overall progress.

On the other hand, El Salvador ranks last in the survey for robbery and assault, and it has the lowest homicide rate in Latin America. El Salvador’s murder rate in 2023 per 100.000 people was 2.4, a decrease of 69.2% compared to 2022. Salvadorans are happy with this security improvement.

To conclude, effectively tackling the intricate network of crime in Latin America demands the immediate implementation of comprehensive strategies.

Attacking organized crime, drug trafficking, violence, and corruption is vital for fostering social stability, encouraging economic growth, and enhancing the overall well-being of the Latin American region.