Homicide rate significantly up from 2008

The online periodical Contra Punto reports the latest homicide statistics for the first 7 months of 2009 and they are troubling. Murders are up 37% in El Salvador for the first seven months of 2009 compared with the same period in 2008. So far in 2009, there have been 2428 violent deaths, compared to 1767 in 2008. These statistics come from the Attorney General's office who asserts that the majority of these murders are gang-related.

This senseless violence bringing grief to so many Salvadoran families has to stop. But no one seems able to implement a solution.


Gatofilo said…
And talking about the seemingly out of control crime and murder rates in El Salvador, there clearly are plenty of solutions to the problem. But those solutions are only possible when the people finally get sick and tired of being held hostage by the violence. Then they will come to the understanding when there comes a time when it's better to be right that politically correct.

Until then, suffer baby, suffer.


And adding salt to the flesh wound, statistics tell us that Latin America accounts for two-thirds of all confirmed H1N1 deaths.

"The outlook is especially unsettling for the estimated 380 million people grappling with winter in South America, where the (H1N1) virus is speedily propagating."

I bet Funes (the Salvadoran Larry King) is now realizing that it was a lot easier and more fun to criticize than to govern. But like they say, "The other side of the fence is always greener because of all the bull shit."
Unknown said…
Quedan todos invitados a visitar nuestro nuevo grupo de Facebook que es el preludio al lanzamiento de Política Stereo El Salvador.

Política Stereo es una comunidad de pensadores jóvenes que busca dar contenido al debate nacional. Cada semana nuestra comunidad elegirá un tema relevante. Luego nuestro personal producirá un debate donde los protagonistas de la noticia confrontan sus puntos de vista conversando a través de una cámara web. Tan simple y fresco como eso.

Aquí pueden ver una sinopsis en el blog de Neto Rivas: http://blog.netorivas.net/?p=2192

Aquí les dejo el enlace al grupo de Facebook: http://blog.netorivas.net/?p=2192

Saludos Hunnapuh y comentaristas. Muchas felicidades a todos por tan perspicaces intercambios.


Anonymous said…
A bad global economy is not going to make things any better.

Young people need things to do and job prospects. People in general need jobs that pay enough to care for the family.

The gang members who were deported from the US, we all know they are not used to that level of mass poverty. When faced with working 12 hours a day for next to nothing ($5 a day?)or gaining more from illegal activity; they're going to go for the illegal.
Gatofilo said…
The above "Bosque" comment is just one more example of the victim metality that makes things so wrong in El Salvador.

Now we're asked to feel compassion for gang members, muggers, and murderers because it's not their fault.

"I don't have anything and no one gives me anything, so I'm going to become a thief and a murderer."

Get real, Bosque, the road out of poverty isn't murder, rape, and pillage. The road out of ignorance is an education and the will to believe in oneself and to seek self betterment.

The character building that teaches to pull oneself up by ones own bootstraps, and not to always be expecting a handout. Is that not a Salvadoran trait?

You sound like a finger pointing ALBA socialist with a mentality like that. Shame on you.
Anonymous said…
I mentioned why people do what they do; not that they should be doing it.

Until you know the cause you can't pretend to know the solution.
Basta de Casaca said…
Is the homicide rate really significantly high, or is homicide rate NEWS significantly high in the right wing media?

By the way, that extreme violence is Tony Saca's legacy to the the children of El Salvador.

Mike said…
Based on these stats, that would translate to 4271 murders/year. To put that in context, El Salvador has about the same population as
Massachusetts which has about 180 murders/year. Frightening!!
Tim said…
Some responses:

Gatofilo: You state "there clearly are plenty of solutions to the problem" without naming any of them. Give us a workable solution for El Salvador.

Also, Bosque wasn't saying that poverty and frustration excuses violent crime, but it may be one of the contributing factors.

Bosque: the poverty leads to crime argument has a surface appeal, but does not explain why the crime rate is so much lower in Nicaragua than in El Salvador.

Samuel -- you can't duck your head in the sand and pretend that the problem is writing about the problem. When you have the highest murder rate in the Western Hemisphere, it's a problem. I agree that ARENA governments did nothing to improve the situation, but did they cause it? I think more of the cause related to the US deporting gang members to El Salvador and El Salvador being unable to handle the gang activity they brought with them.
Gatofilo said…
Tim, the question should be, "Whether Salvadoran society is prepared to do what is needed."

Reducing Crime and Violence is a state of mind and spirit, and an indispensable and key aspect for society’s success in reducing crime and violence lies in the arena of criminal rehabilitation. If you can help an individual see how moral conduct will improve his survival, then you better his chances of improving his own behavior by his own free will. It is the single most effective way to produce lasting change.

With inmates in more than 2,000 prisons around the world studying attitudes for success on any given day, hardened criminals are routinely reformed through a rehabilitation program known as criminon which uses The Way to Happiness as the heart of its curriculum.

The Way to Happiness Programs have been implemented in some of the worst prisons in the world. Witness a Mexican state prison, where 80 percent of the offenders were heavy drug users and the recidivism rate was 70 percent. After the implementation of The Way to Happiness, recidivism fell to 10 percent at the facility.
Similar results were achieved in South Africa, where recidivism in maximum security prisons fell to an astonishing zero. The success of the program "has been remarkable," writes a Pretoria chief magistrate with jurisdiction over 39 judges and 55 courts, "The workload of the juvenile court has dropped from 30 cases per month to just two, the rest were successfully diverted away from the criminal justice system."

Accompanying the judge's accolades is a letter to Criminon signed by the Minister of Justice of South Africa, which cites the enormous impact that Criminon plays in rehabilitation: "This program is so important to us — and the world — that we've brought it to the direct attention of the United Nations so that every courthouse in the world may benefit."
In the USA, a local businessman, along with the mayor of Harlingen, Texas, conducted a citywide "Set a Good Example Contest," where school-age children did projects based on The Way to Happiness to improve the community. As part of the campaign, every family in the city of 60,000 received copies of the book and instructions on how to participate.

Subsequently, the local Police Department's annual report showed crime had fallen in almost every major category, and no murders had occurred in the city for an entire year. Though the local police force was at a loss to understand how it happened, their chief could only suggest that changing values in the homes and streets had contributed to the decrease — exactly the objective of The Way to Happiness.

Through these grassroots campaigns and more, The Way to Happiness has helped tens of millions of people face the challenges of daily living by offering common-sense solutions for common problems. The guidelines in The Way to Happiness give an individual a road map to follow toward a happier and safer life. It is unique in that it strips away the false ideas some may have about why "it is okay" to be immoral — and it makes clear why honest conduct actually leads to better survival and a more joyous existence. Here is common sense, cast in a code that can be followed and kept. And like a ripple on a water's surface, the benefits and changes produced and experienced by those who read and use the book spread far and wide, out into the community, bringing peace and calm, dignity and respect — and ultimately a higher quality of life.
aighmeigh said…
My husband was among those murder statistics. He was shot seven times while working at our taqueria. At this point it is still unknown whether it was just for the watch he was wearing and the few dollars he had on him, if it was a case of mistaken identity, or if he was targeted for some other reason. It was senseless and left an entire family, including a wife and two children, devastated. I do not love El Salvador any less because of this, and will always return, but there is a nonchalance about death and murder there which is disheartening, if not disturbing. Murder is normalized and the family of the victim is often victimized again by landlords suddenly claiming the deceased was behind in rent and strangers showing up saying they are owed money. My family told me this is "normal". Normal. Normal??

Something needs to change. It is such a beautiful country, with such amazing people--people who deserve a chance at a good, productive life and who should not have to live in fear.
Gatofilo said…
Aighmeigh: Your personal tragic loss and that of your children is a heartwrenching account of senseless murder at the hands of pathological criminal minds, and subhuman trash who will go to any extreme to politicize barbarism.

My most heart felt condolences go out to you and yours, and to all the thousands of families in Murder City who have suffered the senseless loss of a loved one at the hands of a society cowered by the impunity of the heinous anti social element in that languishing country you have chosen to visit.

I cannot understand how you or anyone for that matter would chose to live your only life with your children in a lawless place where human life has no value.

Take a moment to consider the irresponsible and terrible legacy you leave your innocent childern in a place like that.
aighmeigh said…
Gatofilo, my daughter and I are from the US and were not there when my husband was killed. I flew down to El Salvador for his funeral. He has a son who lives there, and the rest of our family lives there as well, and I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that if my family had the means to change the situation in the country, they would. How do you expect people to exact change in their country, when they are too busy working their tails off during all of their waking hours, just to make ends meet?

I have spent considerable amounts of time in El Salvador and see it neither as a place where life has no value, nor do I see living there as irresponsible. I do find your generalizations both dangerous and offensive, however. You say it is irresponsible for people to raise their families in such a country, but what are the alternatives for those who were born there, have their entire families there, and do not have the money to move? This is not even taking into consideration the cost of trying to get a tourist visa to the US, let alone work papers--and you pay the money for a visa with no guarantee of actually getting one!

My family situation was difficult, and yes I have enough "If only he were here in the US" guilt clouding my mind to last a lifetime, thank you. I do not regret our chosen path, however, because we were playing the hand we were dealt and trying to make something good out of a horrible situation.

Why would I choose to visit there? Move there? Live there? Raise my family there? Because my daughter has memories of her father, which she would have never had otherwise. Because my husband was there. Because my family is there and I was fighting to keep my family together. Because it is a beautiful country with a lot to offer, that happens to be mucked up by a bunch of idiot, blood-thirsty thugs who have no concept of anything other than the shallow, money-grubbing mentality they likely brought home to El Salvador from the streets of L.A.

It is as simple-minded and ignorant to blame the victims of these tragedies, as it is to let the criminals play the victim card.
Gatofilo said…
Aighmeigh: Once again, my most sincere condolences for your senseless loss.

Opinions are like noses, everone has one. Life is multiple choice, and the choices we make result from our past experiences.

Most people learn to not repeat past mistakes, but ultimately one has the freedom to choose ones own cross to bear.

Best wishes.
Tim said…

Thank-you for sharing your comments and your family's story. Please accept my deepest sympathies for your loss. By personalizing these statistics you help us remember that each and every one of these tragic deaths leaves behind a family and loved ones.

That's why people like Gatofilo and I should try to be humble in the face of realities we don't live day-to-day. It's easy to spout off when you live in Wisconsin, but we need to recognize that painful realities rarely fit into short blog posts or the comments on them.
BKR.INC said…
Its saddens me when people of el salvador talk about it being more safer during war time than peace time.
Honestly we need to gather the brains of politician, police officals,legal professional, professors (locally and international) and community leaders to develop strategies to defeat the gangs of el salvador.

Strategies like better rehabilitation programs for members who want to leave the gang life, more training for police officers in gathering information, collecting evidence and keeping records of the hieracrhy of the gangs - gang memebers, location of the gangs and develop a knowledge of the system of languages,symbols and gestures used by the gangs.
more forensic teams must be trained to be able to arrest the criminals violent members who commit thse crimes immediatley.
set up a witness protection program for people who testify against gang leaders or members.
better and smarter laws to prosecute gang members and leaders.
develop nationwide computer statistics systme to highlight danger areas similar to new york CompStat
better resources to prevent gangs infultrating schools or streets
better education oppurtinity for poorer neighbourhoods children
improve and tighten security in prison to prevent gangs members allowing orders to go out
detain and monitor gang memebers whom have been deported and sent back from us

I have plenty more solutions and much better written this is what i could think of on the top of my friend writing on my laptop
Anonymous said…
Tim, please please can't we all agree that the death penalty will be the best solution. Any criminal that is guilty beyond the proof provide should be executed. Can't we once and for all stop protecting criminals as bosque suggests and make crimanals pay for what they do to society in el salvador.
Gatofilo said…
Lionroar992000, Another condensed opinion for you:

In a violent and lawless society such as El Salvador, where life has no value, the suggested death penalty would be absolutely meaningless. Those criminally insane few who could not bribe their way to freedom would be the only ones who would be put to death.

Aside from this somber fact, what gives any society the right to take another human beings God given life? The enacting of the death penalty would place us all in the same heinous category as the sociopath murderers themselves.

The death penalty has been shown to not deter crime, but rather it is only a legal means of vengeance, and possibly affords an empty feeling of relief for the victim family that some semblance of justice has been served.

If the violence and murder seem extreme and overbearing to you now, wait until the criminally insane start dabbling in the lucrative drug smuggling trade, bribing government officials and creating generalize mayhem such as we see in Mexico and Guatemala, Etc.

We all know that the nefarious de facto dictator, Hugo Chavez and his ALBA acolytes are already in shady drug and arms alliances with the Colombian FARC terrorists. Drug trafficking is only one more phase in what will become the 21st Century ideological and moral confrontation between the forces representing Good (democracy and freedom) vs. the vile forces of Evil (socialism and slavery)in our beloved American continent.
Gatofilo said…
Friend, Samuel, regarding your ludicrous post:

I’m very interested in seeing if your FMLN party is now going to try to blame someone, anyone, and politicize the 25 murders in a single day, last Monday in your country? I hope you all realize that this hideous news in all the network media all over the world.

Your leftist finger pointing, blame somebody else but us, mentality is silly, and eliminates any and all legitimacy your comrades may have had once upon a very long time ago.

I've been interested in following accounts in your country, where your FMLN party has for the past 20years been accusing the ARENA authorities of doing nothing to improve conditions of crime, poverty, unemployment, Etc. in that languishing place called Salvador.

But now you have a big problem, you see, the table has turned and I don't know if you've realized that now it’s your leftist comrades who have finally reached power, and the internal conditions in the country only worsen day by day. The terrible crime wave has clearly and overwhelmed the FMLN government. Tell me, who are you going to blame now?

Your FMLN leadership knows that it has to admit the truth to the people, the truth that they are incapable of any new ideas that haven't already been put into practice by previous governments.

People in your party, through cronyism, have been elevated to their inability and therefore the FMLN does not dare hold press conferences or answer embarrassing questions that the people have the right to know.

It suppose it was easy to always lay blame on others, but now it's the FMLN who can't control an out of control situation.

It will be interested to see if your leftist imaginations can hold-up to the challenge. You can tell a lie for a hundred years, but the truth catches-up in a single day.

Best wishes.
Gatofilo said…
Friend BKR.INC, It's refreshing and heartening to know that at least one Salvadoran is unbiased and concerned, and affords real suggestions to improve conditions in his long suffering country.-

Although I do not have a horse in this race, in my opinion at the heart and core of the problems facing El Salvador is the fact that it has become a polarized and conflictive society that hasn't yet been able to define a common goal or a viable strategy to reach it.

The disunity in your country absolutely weakens every effort to improve conditions for the good of the entire populace. In Salvador the opposing groups automatically politicize and cast blame everywhere to not give credit where credit is due.

United you could win, divided is where you are now...

Best wishes.