Drug War

U.N. Prohibitionists Document Prohibition-Related Violence


According to a new report from the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, Honduras and El Salvador have the highest homicide rates in the world, at 82.1 and 66, respectively, per 100,000 people. Despite the surge in violence that has accompanied Mexican President Felipe Calderon's anti-drug crackdown, which has killed more than 40,000 people since 2006, Mexico's homicide rate—18.1 per 100,000—makes it seem placid by comparison, although it is more than three times the U.S. rate (5 per 100,000), which in turn is high compared to those of other liberal democracies. The violence in Central America also is largely driven by the war on drugs:

U.S. officials say crackdowns on drug cartels in Mexico and Colombia have pushed gang activity to Central America, which has long been a lucrative corridor for trafficking.

Caribbean countries, most notably Jamaica, have also been affected by drug-related violence, the report said.

Mexico has seen a 65 percent increase in killings since President Felipe Calderon launched his offensive against drug cartels in late 2006, the report found.

Here are the 10 countries with the highest homicide rates:

  1. Honduras: 82.1
  2. El Salvador: 66
  3. Cote D'Ivoire: 56.9
  4. Jamaica: 52.1
  5. Belize: 41.7
  6. Guatemala: 41.4
  7. U.S. Virgin Islands: 39.2
  8. Saint Kitts and Nevis: 38.2
  9. Uganda: 36.3
  10. Trinidad and Tobago: 35.2

The Netherlands ranks near the bottom, with a homicide rate of 1.1 per 100,000 people, less than one-quarter the U.S. rate. Remember when Bill Clinton's drug czar, Barry McCaffrey, claimed lax Dutch drug policies helped explain why "the murder rate in Holland is double that in the United States"?

[Thanks to Richard Cowan for the tip.]

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22 responses to “U.N. Prohibitionists Document Prohibition-Related Violence

  1. I am surprised the USVI is so high.

    Amusingly, if I recall from my research correctly, it is VERY difficult to carry a gun there.

    1. Knives, my friend, knives …

    2. Especially if you’re wearing a bikini.

  2. I always hated McCaffrey the most, although sucking is more or less a prerequisite for the drug czar job.

  3. At the bar I used to work at, we had a ton of Honduran immigrants. They outnumbered everyone, even the Mexicans. I guess I know why they came here now.

  4. Remember when Bill Clinton’s drug czar, Barry McCaffrey, claimed lax Dutch drug policies helped explain why “the murder rate in Holland is double that in the United States”?

    If you’re gonna lie, make it big.

    1. It’s not a lie; it’s just an opinion! See the difference now, Paul?

  5. Here are the 10 countries with the highest homicide rates:

    Honduras: 82.1

    We got off the bus in Tegucigalpa very late in the day and started down the street in the typical bus-stationy neighborhood, looking for our hostel. I’ve been in my share of dangerous places and am pretty savvy and, though on guard, wasn’t all that nervous. But there I experienced a first. Two cops, both carrying pump shotguns in addition to their pistols, strode up and flanked us and asked us where we were going. We indicated the hostel, maybe five blocks down the street. They said “No you’re not, you’re going to this one (right on the next corner) and you’re going with us.” They deposited us at the place and firmly instructed us not to leave it until morning. We went to bed hungry.

    1. I went to Peru in 1994, and there were lots of soldiers around to keep tourists from getting kidnapped by the Shining Path, but nothing like that.

    2. They probably got kickbacks from the hostel they escorted you to, and it’s also possible that they were acting to save your lives. I didn’t use “but” because the explanations are not mutually exclusive.

  6. Im for legalization even if only because people should be able to decide what to put in their bodies. Im not so sure it would reduce crime that much. Let’s face it these drug cartel people aren’t going to give up crime and get regular jobs if drugs are legalized. They will just move on to other types of crime (more kidnapping, extortion, etc).

  7. I’m against drug prohibition, but to say “Calderon’s anti-drug crackdown… has killed more than 40,000” glosses over some real bad actors. Prohibition sucks, but it doesn’t excuse a guy like “El Pozolero.”

    1. No but it empowers them.

    2. No prohibition, no Pozolero.

  8. Isn’t the Netherlands like the rest of Europe anti-gun? How can they have such a low crime rate bereft of self-defense right? This is an honest inquiry.

    1. Criminals there just don’t have the motivation.

    2. That is a good question and I think there is more to violent crime than just gun availability or lack thereof. I think culture and historical patterns come into play and some populations are just more violent than others.

      That said, if I was identifiably gay and living in a Dutch town with a sizeable Muslim population, Im not sure I’d feel terribly safe and it would suck not to be able to defend yourself effectively.

    3. Most of the violence in this country is gang-related (i.e. drug war related). No drug war, no problem.

  9. Excerpt from Everything I Know About Drug Wars I Learned From Working At Chuck E Cheese:

    “If I keep practicing, one day I’ll be able to whack all these moles!”

  10. Murder and crime statistics are very distortionary; Jamaica is a good example. If you eliminate the Flankers neighborhood near Montego Bay and certain parts of Kingston, the murder rate probably drops to nil, the same is probably true in all these countries.

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