Crime statistics make slight improvement

Wally, a regular reader of this blog, pointed me to some statistics in today's LaPrensa that might be reason for a small bit of optimism on the crime front. Murders in May of 2007 were down significantly from May of 2006, and there have been 67 fewer murders in 2007 than in 2006 (1477 compared with 1544).

The National Police also released statistics which it hopes will rebut the criticism of last week's United Nations report that only 4% of murders in a large sample of cases from 2005 resulted in punishment for the perpetrators. According to the PNC figures, there were 3642 inmates in El Salvador's prisons for the crime of murder at the end of 2005, 4058 at the end of 2006, but during the first five months of 2007 the number has grown 45% to 5885. According to the PNC, if an extra 1800 people have been sent to prison for acts of homicide so far in 2007, the criticisms of lack of effectiveness in solving and punishing crime must no longer be true.


Anonymous said…
As a social scientist, I can't help but raise a methodoligal question:

How is the government counting Salvadorans "sent to prison" for homicide?

This is a very serious issue considering the large number of Salvadorans awaiting trial in prison! The UNDP report refers to convictions, not to those awaiting trial.
Anonymous said…
Help me if I´m wrong on this, but my understanding is that there is no bail system in El Salvador. If you are picked up for a crime, a decision is made after 72 hours to charge you or not, and if charged you will be held until your trial comes up. Obviously a bail system would be better to protect the innocent, but at the moment that´s the system that is in place here. If the people here or the people at the U.N. want to see a larger percentage of murderers brought to justice, then as this begins to happen, under the present system there will be an increase in the number of people in jail awaiting trial. You can't have it both ways and be outraged because not enough murderers are being convicted but when that starts to turn around, then be outraged because there are too many people in jail awaiting trial. A change to a bail system for defendants seems like an improvement to me because that's the system I've lived with, but in reality you have to work with the system you have and not the one you wished you had. So as the homicide conviction problem begins to improve there is no way to avoid more people in jail awaiting trial.
Anonymous said…
I am not referring to a new problem. Salvadoran jails have been overcrowded since the end of the war because of prisoners awaiting trial. Many of those who have been convicted are released for time served!

Bail could help this situation. The real issue, however, is reforming the judicial system so that it can give these people fair trials in a timely manner. Add to that the need for improved police work to help separate the guilty from the innocent.
Hodad said…
correct, everyone goes to jail for 72 hours till they figure it out, and you need someone to bring you food and water, unless the family of the inmates feed you, or in my case once at the dope jail9for a few joints] i called Dominoes, then subway, the Pollo Compero, to deliver
even in a motorcycle wreck, not MY fault, i went to jail santa Tecla, first under police custody in t Hospital Rosales until i was told, tube up the pee pee to check for blood, i was peeing blood when i got there; or to jail, well i took jail the gangs fed me
but true the system needs major uphaul
we will see how it is when i have several cases to go to Fiscalia when i retuen, 2 instances of "Conversion by Baylee" [look it up]
and fraud, theft and threats of death,got lots of testigos,
anyway we will see
guilty parties need to be punished, no matter how connected they are

if not, hey fish bait!
[like you miners will be if you do not leave]using cyanide and aresenic, hey that is a THREAT to my life and my "hommies" lives

fuck gold, those that wear it and those that pollute to get it
Anonymous said…
oh nigga please.
Anonymous said…
The only solution is to return to the Catholic values of the country. Going to mass and learning to live a decent life, keeps young people off the street where they learn to drink, take drugs and become gang members.
Anonymous said…
sometimes i just can't help to consider that maybe, eventually, the best thing for such a small, poor, disorganized and incompetent country like el salvador is to be annexed by a bigger country. problem is, el salvador is like a problem child, one whom no parent would want to adopt. maybe in 200 years things will be different, hopefully better.
Hodad said…
not a bad idea, but certainly NOT the USA
maybe Finland, or Thailand
where in Thailand,as noted before faith is healing, but not so much Catholicism, of course not where one can murder your neighbor, give the church big bucks, say your hail mary;s to some perverts in robes that guilt folks into only they are closest to GOD, and hey, you are forgiven so you teach your kids the same along with the rich inducing their sons to have sex with the maids and drink with the fathers when they are 12

faith yes, belief in God yes, starts with the commandments
and looking inward.
but remember it also starts with family, many have family problems,
and for many the gang is family

hey, machismo, descended from Spain and the Catholic faith,
that is why more folks are turning to earth based and traditional and indigenous practices
for me, best is Buddhism, the 4 noble truths attained by the eight fold path

same God, different path
la misma Dios, sendera otro
Anonymous said…
Inner-self. Has it ever occurred to you that the root of much of El Salvador's problem stems from U.S. military intervention in supporting, training, and advising the Salvadoran army and security forces during the war and political/economic intervention in the form of neoliberal free market economic policies since 1992? Seems a better answer than some new age baloney about another country adopting El Salvador. To call El Salvador "incompetent" shows your real bias and complete lack of understanding of Latin America and Latin American-U.S. relations.
Rusty said…
The United States used a corrupt system that had existed for nearly 500 years to its advantage during the Cold War. Blaming all El Salvador's problems on the U.S. is eliding the long history of oppression that began when the first Spaniards enslaved the Pipil and Mayan Indians and created an economic and social hierarchy of Europeans, mestizos, and Indios, that still exists to some extent today. Yes, the United States may have made some things worse, but the bases of El Salvador's problems have deep historical roots that date back to before the first British settlers landed in the "New World."
Hodad said…
"El Salvador's problem stems from U.S. military intervention in supporting, training, and advising the Salvadoran army and security forces"

says it right there,
those few that profit, [Bush's buddies,] are the ones long involved in perpetuating this militaristic crap to make tons of money in arms trade, read the statistics
and of course need to eliminate SOA long ago

these military guy are taught to kill those not like you,
'kill the little brown skinned folks'

especially in the US that is why their mentalities are such that they are macho but no balls, without a gun
we complain of Iran sending weapons to Iraq, how about all the crap weapons the USA sends worldwide?

fight with sticks
ummm, men with no balls, but got a gun,
again not many surfers or those living in harmony with their environments
and as Rusty seems to agree with me, the Spainards/Catholics started it here in the New World, long ago
Anonymous said…
It is true that US took advantage of the corrupt system that the whole region inherited by from the Spaniards, and that still persists today (the "elites" normally are foreign, foreign descent, inbreed, middle class is majorly meztiso, poor is mestizo and at the very bottom the natives that in countries like this even hide their ancestry after the Slaughter from the 30s).

USA basically functioned as the life-line to keep this system alive after intervening to remove progressive leaders, arming the existing oligarchies to stablish a stranglehold in the countries. In every major turn of events against the majority of the Latin American community, USA is somewhere nearby. During the Slaughter, for example, USA had ships near the harbor ready to invade if the fascist government of Martinez were too soft to repress the rebellion.

But definately, one of the largest problems of LA has been that we haven't gotten rid of this caste system and that USA is always supporting the status quo, cause they want LA resources and be the only dominant force of the hemisphere, so they know that with good-nothing oligarchies and their "criollo" governments, it is only question of asking the right question... "How much?", to get governments purchased and all the mess we have. Not only this, though, one of the biggest plagues that torments the region is drug trafficking of which the oligarchies have a hand, but this net was firstly established/mantained/protected by USA to finance all the operations of destruction in the region. So now we have all this narc-network extending through the region with full US support, and for that reason Latin America sits between the biggest consumer of drugs and the biggest producer, and with the do-nothing corrupt oligarchies the whole region is in the brink of collapse. At least that is my opinion.

BTW, it is funny how shitty ass Figueroa didn't accept the PNUD claiming that it was "politically biased", but isn't this dude the same dude that goes on campaign for ARENA? Isn't this the same guy that is leader of idiology of ARENA, and that has tons to loose of he doesn't play to the beat of making Salvadoran's believe that Saca has accomplished his promises (Pais Seguro), isn't this the guy that has proven to be incompetent on handling the security problem for years now? Now, he definately is biased...
Anonymous said…
btw, church? Please keep the church out of any position of influence in the state, I truly wouldn't want the whole society be run by the dictates of such a corrupt institute, specially when the ultra-conservative factions in the church are the ones in control, I do not want to see a Church of Musolini, Church of Pinochet, Church of Franco in here which in recent history has been mainstream
Anonymous said…
Nothing last forever, El Salvador in the future will be a country of peace and prosperity. a good example is vietman.

nothing last forever, peace and freedom for El Salvador