UPDATED 8:12 AM PT — Friday, May 31, 2019
Since the year 2000, more than 2.5 million people have been murdered in Latin America and 25-percent of all global homicides are in the countries of Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Venezuela.
A research director at the Igarapé Institute in Brazil says there are four factors contributing to the disturbing murder rates. First, Latin America cities are urbanizing before they industrialize, which is creating a large amount of social disorder.
“The second factor is income inequality. High levels of income inequality are associated with high levels of violence. The third factor is youth unemployment. We have a huge youth bulge of 15 to 29 year olds who just don’t have employment and low opportunities and so they tend to join organized crime groups. And the final set of factors are drugs and guns.”
— Robert Muggah, research director – Igarapé Institute
According to a study from Australian National University, Honduran males lost six-years of life expectancy due to homicides, while lives were cut short by four-years in El Salvador.
The scourge of violence led migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala to join caravans headed through Mexico toward the U.S. However, U.S. Customs and Border Protection say they will continue to turn them away as more than 3,000 apprehensions continue to occur each day.