domingo, 8 de junio de 2014

President says murders down in Guatemala, people "yet to perceive" it

Guatemala's President Otto Pérez Molina said on 7 June that violent crime had fallen in the country in the first five months of 2014, in spite of Guatemala still having some of the world's highest murder rates. He gave the daily murder rate in this five-month period as 13, speaking at a meeting with ministers in Ciudad de Guatemala, down from 17 when he took office in January 2012, the daily Siglo.21 reported. The daily observed that the President was aware the population did not feel crime was falling. Nevertheless Mr Pérez said "this is the best year, compared to the last year of the previous government...we have 13 murders a day, unfortunately, but the trend is downward. There are 346 fewer homicides than last year, fewer kidnappings and fewer car thefts." He said crime was falling in the capital and its environs "even if Guatemalans are having difficulty perceiving this." The Guatemalan rights monitor and NGO GAM (Grupo de Apoyo Mutuo) stated separately that crime had fallen but less than officials said. The daily cited a spokesman for GAM as saying that criminality was lower than under the last government, of President Álvaro Colom Caballeros, but higher than in the preceding three governments. The observation repeated the conclusions of a comparative report GAM issued in May 2014 on murder rates in the first two years of five recent presidencies. That gave the Pérez government the second highest murder figures, with 10,404 presumed or reported homicide victims from January 2012 to January 2014. The figure of 12,790 criminal fatalities was given for January 2008-January 2010, the first two years of the Colom presidency, and 9,845 for Óscar Berger Perdomo, whose presidency began in January 2004.