Vacations and Homicides

Holiday vacations with passions, idle times, emotions, crowds and alcohol produce deadly results each year in El Salvador. In the time I have been following the news out of El Salvador, I am always saddened by the tragic scorecard which the Salvadoran press keep of the number of violent deaths over the Christmas holidays. As reported in La Prensa there were 85 homicides between December 23 and December 31, 2004, a 28 percent increase over the prior year. The week concluded a year which saw more murders in El Salvador than any of the preceding 5 years. According to the paper, "violence and the old vices of speed and alcohol returned to cause pain and mourning at the end of 2004 and the start of 2005." The annual scorecard always includes as well the dozens killed and injured in traffic fatalities over the week.

It is a sad irony that the biggest religious holidays in El Salvador produce these statistics. The other times which see these spikes in the rates of homicides are Holy Week and August festivals of El Salvador del Mundo.