Violence In Latin America Is An “Epidemic,” OAS Secretary-General Says

By Dialogo
August 26, 2010

It is true that the violence was not overcome, but we have to get to the bottom of the real causes i.e.: the unfairness, the injustice in land occupancy, the different ways to call poverty in towns; shanties, shacks, small farms etc. Today, the old school politicians don’t fulfill the ideas and expectations of the citizens. These urgently need to have the day-to-day living problems solved; water, electricity, health, housing, education, citizen protection, laws of the land that promote this. The political parties that have failed were because they did not deliver on the promises made to the citizens but replaced them with their own political party’s interests. Violence in a country is due to unsatisfactory demands and uncontrolled corruption. A country should have a par excellence Executive, Legislative and Judicial Power independent and free of corruption, and transparency laws for fiscal organizations. These days it is not uncommon in a country with excessive violence for its Armed forces to intervene in order to assist the local police. The European Economic Community was formed in order to form an economic block with its own currency and it has succeeded in raising the economic status of its members. Because of the number of inhabitants, China is a self-sufficient Asian Economic Community. North and South America, Central America and Canada should think about forming an economic Block for the XXII century, “Unity is Strength”.
The violence in some Latin American countries with high murder rates can be compared to an “epidemic,” the secretary-general of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, declared.

Insulza said in San José that of the ten countries around the world where the most crimes are committed, “more than half” are in Latin America, and that if the murder rates in some cities in the region were calculated applying the standards of the World Health Organization (WHO), the violence would be classified as an epidemic.

“There are a number of (Latin American) cities in which (violence) is a true epidemic that at some point we should confront,” Insulza declared Monday evening while lecturing at the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights, headquartered in the Costa Rican capital.

Latin America is experiencing “a crime wave the likes of which our region has never known,” the OAS secretary-general said.

He said that the WHO declares an epidemic in a country when a disease causes more than 100 deaths per million inhabitants, and that homicides exceed this level in nine cities in the region, which he did not specify.

Insulza said that even if Latin America has not suffered prolonged wars between countries since Bolivia and Paraguay confronted one another in the Chaco War in the 1930s, the number of homicides committed every year in some countries exceeds the number of deaths in some wars.

Although he avoided mentioning countries or cities, he said that even if the human rights situation in Honduras has improved “in part” since the end of the de-facto regime that governed following the 2009 coup d’état, the country’s rate of 59 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants raises doubts about that progress.

“It’s hard to know what is the origin” of so many death in Honduras, Insulza affirmed, adding that the violence “is an attack on security and health and corrupts our democracy” in Latin America.