NGO: Venezuela homicide rate rises to world's 2nd

AP News
Posted: Dec 29, 2014 12:27 PM

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — A non-governmental group that tracks crime in Venezuela says the country's homicide rate rose again in 2014.

The Venezuelan Violence Observatory estimates that 24,980 killings occurred this year, pushing the homicide rate up to 82 per 100,000 inhabitants. The group says that makes Venezuela the No. 2 country in the world for killings, after Honduras.

Last year, the observatory counted 79 killings per 100,000 people. In 1998, the rate was 19 per 100,000.

The report published Monday is based on press reports, victim surveys and officials' comments. Venezuelan authorities generally dispute the group's findings, and say the crime situation is improving.

Victims include people in wealthy and poor neighborhoods, and armed guards and police. Over the weekend, a National Guardsman was killed in Caracas, reportedly to steal his motorcycle.