Why Does Latin America Have Highest Female Murder Rate?

INSIGHT CRIME — Latin America is the region with the most female murders on earth, a phenomenon partly due to organized crime activities such as human trafficking and gang violence. Just how do these criminal activities increase the victimization of women?

A recent report by a number of international organizations (pdf) revealed that seven out of the ten countries with the highest female murder rate in the world are in Latin America. El Salvador heads the list with a rate of 8.9 homicides per 100,000 women in 2012, followed by Colombia with 6.3, Guatemala with 6.2, Russia with 5.3 and Brazil with 4.8. Mexico and Suriname are also in the top ten.

While general violence levels and domestic abuse are considered to be the main contributors to high femicide rates, organized crime also plays a huge yet overlooked role in the victimization of women in Latin America. As Guatemala’s Attorney General Thelma Aldana told InSight Crime, 50 percent of the 854 women killed in Guatemala in 2015 were murdered as a direct result of organized crime.

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