viernes, 24 de enero de 2014

Over 250 killed in Guatemala in 20 days, officials insist crime falling

Guatemala's state coroners INACIF registered no less than 254 persons as killed in criminal actions in the first 20 days of January 2014, including 11 minors according to police, Cuba's Prensa Latina agency reported on 24 January. The agency observed that Guatemala's President Otto Pérez Molina, who completed two years in office on 14 January had promised to restore security to the country, recently claimed that the national murder rate had fallen from 39 to 34 murders per 100,000 inhabitants over two years. The Interior Minister Mauricio López Bonilla was reported on 24 January as repeating the figures; both officials were apparently responding to claims by a UN official that "strong-arm tactics" against crime were not working. Mr López told the daily Prensa Libre that the Government had managed to curb crime, at least in parts of the country, by increasing policemen of which there were now 30,000 nationwide. There were now 200 policemen per 100,000 inhabitants he said, compared to 175 when Mr Pérez became President; the rate was to be raised to 250 within six months, and Guatemala was to have 35,000 policemen by the end of 2014, he added. The Minister insisted that under this government, murders fell 20 per cent in the Guatemala department that includes the capital, and 37 per cent in the capital itself. Guatemala City was recently cited as the world's 8th most violent city in 2013, with a murder rate of 68.4 per 100,000 inhabitants, considerably below the rates in the three most violent cities.