UNICEF: Latin America’s armed violence is ‘epidemic’

June 6, 2008

Latin America’s problem with armed violence has reached “epidemic proportions,” according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Nils Kastberg, UNICEF’s regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean, said this region has earned the “poor reputation” for having the highest rate of violence, accounting for 42 percent of the world’s homicides.

This situation has worsened with “the easy access to small arms and a growing gap between the richest and poorest segments of society,” Kastberg said in a statement from the regional office in Panama City.

“Unfortunately children and teenagers are objects of violence and the Caribbean tops the list, worldwide, in terms of the murder rate and has the highest rate of homicide among adolescents ages 15 to 17,” he said.

Boys are six times more likely than girls to fall victim to armed violence, according to UNICEF. Violence is the No. 1 cause of death among males in the 15-24 age bracket in the Caribbean and in certain Latin American countries, Kastberg said.

He cited Guatemala as a danger zone, where 418 youths were killed in 2005, 322 of them by gunfire. In Haiti, he said, child kidnapping has increased “exponentially” in recent months, with 50 cases so far in 2008 alone.

You may be interested

With Keylor Navas battling injuries, Real Madrid eyes January swoop for Bilbao goalie
Keylor Navas
81 views
Keylor Navas
81 views

With Keylor Navas battling injuries, Real Madrid eyes January swoop for Bilbao goalie

AFP - December 11, 2017

Real Madrid's first foray into the January transfer market will be to snap up Athletic Bilbao's promising goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga,…

Our High Season Print Edition is here! Here’s where to find it
The Tico Times
400 views
The Tico Times
400 views

Our High Season Print Edition is here! Here’s where to find it

Katherine Stanley - December 11, 2017

In the weeks since the relaunch of The Tico Times on Sept. 1, we’ve been hard at work to reconnect…

Bright Lights Boat Parade inaugurates holiday season in Quepos
Events
482 views
Events
482 views

Bright Lights Boat Parade inaugurates holiday season in Quepos

Elizabeth Lang - December 11, 2017

The Bright Lights Boat Parade marked the official kickoff of the holiday season in the Central Pacific town of Quepos…