The economic cost of violence

The United Nations Development Program released a report on the economic cost of violent crime in El Salvador. For the year 2003, the UNDP estimated that the economic cost was $1.72 billion dollars. This amount was equal to double the combined budgets of the ministries of Health and Education in the Salvadoran government. The UNDP is trying to help stem the violence with a program named "Society without Violence."

Unfortunately the tide of violence is high in the first four months of 2005. 1051 persons were murdered through the end of April, up 264 from the prior year. The epidemic of homicides led La Prensa Grafica to devote today's online edition to exploring the issues behind the violence. The entire web site was altered from its normal colorful hues to a somber black, white and gray.