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Ecuador’s murder rate is second lowest in Latin America in 2016 crime statistics

Ecuador’s murder rate dropped to 5.6 per 100,000 residents in 2016, giving it the second lowest rate in Latin America. Chile has the lowest at 4.8 per 100,000.

President Correa with one of Ecuador’s finest.

The country recorded 914 homicides in 2016 which, according to Minister of the Interior Diego Fuentes, is the first time since record-keeping began that the figure was below 1,000.

Fuentes said that 55 percent of murders were the result of domestic violence while 45 percent were related to criminal activity. In the case of non-domestic murders, he said most of the victims knew their attackers.

According to ministry crime statistics, Ecuador’s murder rate was 18.7 cases in 2008 but began to decline afterward, reaching 17.5 in 2010 and 10.9 in 2013.

By comparison to Ecuador, Colombia’s murder rate was 27 per 100,000 in 2016, Mexico’s was 14, Panama’s was 11, and Peru’s was 7.3.

Cuenca and Loja had the lowest rates for cities over 100,000 population in 2016, at 3.2.

Fuentes credits the government’s large investment in public safety for the improving statistics. “Specifically, we have increased the number of law enforcement officers by more than 40% since 2009, implemented one of the region’s best 911 emergency call services, and installed video cameras in high crime areas,” he said.

Another factor for the dropping rate, according to an interior ministry press release, is the low number of firearms per capita in Ecuador. Neighboring Colombia, which has a murder rate 500% higher than Ecuador’s, has 10 times more guns per capita.

  • JoJo

    So Mexico’s murder rate per 100,000 population is lower than Ecuador’s…..? What am I missing here ? 37 people found in a mass grave site in Mexico…cartel wars, mayors murdered…that is what we read happens in Mexico, right ? These stats. somehow are not skewed right…hmmm. I have traveled within the past year to Mexico, Colombia & Panama, and the only place that I felt any
    threat was in Mexico(and it was not 3:00 a.m. outside of a bar)… or
    even in a poor part of the city either. I feel safe here, anywhere in Ecuador, Colombia & Panama, and in parts of Mexico. One must wonder who compiled these statistics ?

    • Jason Faulkner

      I did my master’s of public health in Mexico at the National Institute of Public Health. My original thesis was on homicide between 2000-2012. As it turns out, nobody found in mass graves were counted in the statistics so I wrote a letter to the interior secretariat asking for numbers on the bodies found in clandestine burials to make my study more thorough. I got a call a week later (on my cell number which I never gave them) telling me to drop the study or be expelled from the country. The caller never identified himself but he was very aggressive. My thesis advisor was Colombian and he apparently got the same call because the next day he said he “didn’t have time” to advise me anymore despite having put in several months on the study up to that point. I ended up doing my thesis on breast cancer.

      You can’t trust the numbers coming out of that cesspool. The published numbers are based solely on death certificates with homicide as the cause of death. Those certificates are made by physicians in hospitals and clinics. They don’t include any body found outside a medical facility nor do they include the THOUSANDS dissolved in acid (Google “El Sopero”). Mass grave findings go through SEMEFO (the Mexican version of CSI) and they are being deliberately excluded from the morbidity and mortality reports. Mexico had more homicides than Iraq during that period but nobody in the government wants that information out there. I imagine it’s even worse now under EPN but I don’t care because I’m never going back.