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Venezuela: South America's most dangerous country

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Fernando Llano/AP/

(Read caption) A vendor wearing a T-shirt with an image of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez sells vegetable at a state-run market in Caracas, Venezuela, Friday.

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The Venezuelan Observatory Of Violence (Observatorio Venezolano de la Violencia) has released a study on homicides during 2012 putting the national homicide rate at 73 per 100,000 of the population, with Caracas registering 122 per 100,000. As a point of comparison, neighboring Colombia, still in the midst of the civil conflict, last year registered just over 31 homicides per 100,000.

The study was conducted by the NGO working with six national universities. It put the number of homicides during the year at 21,692, a significant increase on 2011 (19,336), which had gone down as the most violent year on record in Venezuelan history.

According to the government, the homicide rate for 2011 was just over 48 per 100,000 of the population. Even at this level Venezuela was one of the most dangerous nations in South America.

InSight Crime Analysis

While the statistics can be challenged, the upward trend in homicides cannot.


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