Thursday, January 10, 2013

Latin America security by the numbers

  • Venezuela gave Nicaragua US$2.56 billion in assistance, much of it oil or energy related, between 2007 and the first half of 2012.

  • “In 2010, Brazil spent more than US$350 million on 14 Israeli-made Heron UAVs for surveillance of the Amazon rainforest and border regions,” reports John Otis in GlobalPost.

  • Mexico’s Milenio newspaper, which keeps a count of organized crime-related homicides, counted 12,394 such murders in 2012. This is up slightly from 12,284 in 2011 and down from 12,658 in 2010. The newspaper counted 54,069 organized crime-related homicides during the six years when recently departed President Felipe Calderón intensified Mexico’s fight against trafficking organizations.

  • In a six-day span between January 3 and January 8, Colombian guerrillas, probably the ELN, bombed the Caño Limón-Coveñas oil pipeline twice in Norte de Santander department.

  • El Salvador’s coroner’s office recorded 2,641 homicides in 2012, 39% lower than the 4,360 homicides it counted in 2011. The office also recorded a drop in forced disappearances after a March 2012 pact between the country’s principal street gangs (maras).

  • Guatemala counted 5,174 homicides in 2012, down 8.9 percent from 2011. It was the third straight year in which homicides fell.

  • Colombia’s police counted 14,670 homicides in 2012, the lowest number in 27 years, for a homicide rate of 31 per 100,000 people, down from 70 per 100,000 ten years ago.

  • Colombia’s Defense Ministry estimated that the FARC guerrillas now have less than 8,000 members, and the ELN guerrillas have less than 1,500 members.

  • Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, recorded 750 homicides in 2012, down from 2,086 in 2011 and 3,116 in 2010.

  • Demobilized paramilitary members participating in Colombia’s “Justice and Peace” process have confessed to committing 1,064 massacres, over 25,000 homicides and 3,599 forced disappearances.

  • Mexican military courts have convicted 16,460 soldiers for the crime of desertion since 2006.

  • Peru’s Interior Ministry has set aside US$32.5 million to improve police presence in the Apurímac, Ene and Mantaro Valley (VRAEM) region in Ayacucho department, which is dominated by remnants of the Shining Path guerrilla movement.