A recent IDB discussion document describes Latin America and the Caribbean as “…one of the most violent regions of the planet. Its average homicide rate in 2012 was 23.7 per 100,000 inhabitants, almost four times the global rate, and more than twice the standard used by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to define an epidemic (10 homicides per 100,000).
Jamaica has consistently ranked among the highest for homicide rates in the region and the world, peaking at 62 per 100,000 in 2009 and averaging approximately 40 per 100,000 more recently. This level places us at almost twice the regional average and four times the standard used by the WHO to define an epidemic.
It is now generally recognized that violent crime has multiple contributing factors, which include transnational drug and gun trade, street gangs, informal and inner city communities with inadequate social services, and weak economies. These contributing factors are not unique to Jamaica. Other causes are less common such as our historical nexus between politics and gangs, and the promotion of criminal behavior and glorification of criminal lifestyles by certain leading elements in popular culture…READ MORE