Venezuela says murder rate down sharply in 2019


Venezuela says murder rate down sharply in 2019

Friday, January 24, 2020

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CARACAS, Venezuela (AFP) — Venezuela's Government said on Wednesday that the country's homicide rate fell dramatically last year.

It went from 33 murders per 100,000 inhabitants to 21, for a drop of 37 per cent, Interior and Justice Minister Nestor Reverol said without offering an explanation for the decline.

These figures are at odds, however, with those of a non governmnetal organisation (NGO) called the Venezuelan Violence Observatory, which said in December that there were 60.3 murders per 100,000 inhabitants in 2019.

It said 32 per cent of homicides happened during police operations against suspected criminals.

The Government classifies those cases as deaths due to“resisting authority” and does not include them in its murder statistics.

The Government said there were 17,849 such deaths from 2016 to last May.

The violence observatory said there were 16,506 murders in 2019 in the country of 30 million.

Reverol accused the observatory of “distorting” its figures as part of a “war against the Government”.

The inited nations (UN) Office on Drugs and Crime's latest figures from 2017 put the murder rate in Venezuela at 56.8 per 100,000 people.

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