Central America has become the region with the highest levels of non-political crime worldwide, with an average murder rate of 33 per 100,000 inhabitants last year, three times greater than the global average, a new United Nations report released here Wednesday shows, noting that crime threatens the region's development.
Some 79,000 people have been murdered in the region over the past six years, but despite these heightened levels of violence, solving the problem of insecurity is possible within the framework of democracy, according to the UN Development Program (UNDP) Report on Human Development in Central America 2009-2010.
"Apart from its economic costs, which are concrete and indisputable, one of the main reasons why this is a crucial issue is that violence and crime are affecting the day-to-day decisions of the population, making insecurity a clear hindrance to human development," UNDP Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean Rebeca Grynspan said in a UN press release.
Security involves intelligent diagnosis, a real political will and an integrated system for adopting and executing short- and long-term actions, the report said.
"Security is everyone's right, and the state has the duty to provide it," said Hernando Gomez Buendia, the general coordinator of the report, according to the release.