- By Joshua Keating
Joshua Keating is associate editor at Foreign Policy and the editor of the Passport blog. He has worked as a researcher, editorial assistant, and deputy Web editor since joining the FP staff in 2007. In addition to being featured in Foreign Policy, his writing has been published by the Washington Post, Newsweek International, Radio Prague, the Center for Defense Information, and Romania's Adevarul newspaper. He has appeared as a commentator on CNN International, C-Span, ABC News, Al Jazeera, NPR, BBC radio, and others. A native of Brooklyn, New York, he studied comparative politics at Oberlin College.
The Venezuelan Observatory Of Violence (Observatorio Venezolano de la Violencia) has released its study on homicides during 2012, which put 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 was went down as the most violent year on record in Venezuelan history.
If the study’s findings are true, it would give Venezuela the highest murder rate in South America and — most likely — the second highest in the world after Honduras, which saw 91.6 homicides per 100,000 people in 2011 according to the UNODC. The orginzation’s most recent statistics, released last year, had Venezuela tied with Jamaica at a homicide rate of 40.9 behind Honduras, El Salvador, and Ivory Coast.