Murder rates in El Salvador have reached frightening levels; in fact, 230 murders have been counted in 23 days. The daily average has then reached a rate of ten murders per day. This is two more than the daily average for 2008 as a whole. According to the national police, the high rates can largely be seen as a result of gang activities. The gang activities can account for about 70% of the murders, while the rest of them are due to family violence.
A large number of the murders are also murders among youths. The murder rate for youth is actually much higher than the rate for the overall population. The murder rate among youths in El Salvador is 92 in a population of 100,000 people. This rate is mainly due to the high presence of youth gangs. It is also a matter of importance that the country has a long history of armed internal conflict.
These problems are largely spread out through the whole of Latin America. Young Latin Americans have a 30 times higher probability of being murdered than European youth. The countries which have the lowest murder rates are Chile, Cuba and Uruguay, with an average of seven killings per 100000 people.
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- Lars Joon Flydal