Latin America is in the grip of a murder crisis, and Acapulco, Mexico, with more than 900 murders last year, is at the center, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
The 953 murders in Acapulco last year is more than the combined amount in Italy, Portugal, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. More than 400 people are murdered each day in Latin America and the Caribbean, and 145,000 yearly. The region accounts for roughly one-third of global murders, despite only having 8 percent of the world's population, according to the Igarapé Institute, a Brazilian think tank that focuses on violence.
Just four countries in the region account for a quarter of all the murders in the world, including Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela, and 14 of the 20 most dangerous countries in the world are located in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The WSJ says gang violence, drugs, lawlessness, the large gap between the rich and poor and lack of regulation has fueled the growing issue.
"Latin America is a large area and there are lots of variations," Robert Muggah, one of the Igarapé report's authors, told The Guardian in April. "But as a region – including Mexico down to Central America and South America – the rate of homicide is set to continue increasing up until 2030. The only other places we are seeing similar kinds of increases are in parts of southern and central Africa and some war zones."
Latin America is also awash in guns, with two-thirds of murders in Central America committed by guns. In South America, that number is half – the global average is 32 percent.
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