From InSight Crime:
The FBI’s murder rate in the US in 2019 was 5.0, which would rank worse than Argentina, Chile, and Nicaragua, but better than the rest of the countries south of the border. For perspective, in 2020, St. Louis had a murder rate of 84.1 per 100,000 residents, Baltimore 54.5, and Boise 1.8.
Interestingly, American border cities tend to have vastly lower murder rates than their cross-border doppelgangers, such as San Diego vs. Tijuana and El Paso vs. Ciudad Juarez.
I’ve always wondered about the extremely low reported murder rate in Nicaragua, especially when it’s an order of magnitude higher in roughly similar Honduras and even substantially higher in Costa Rica, which is universally assumed to be the best of the Central American banana republics.
The article accompanying this graphic gives a lot of detail about trends within each country, superior to almost all American reporting on American murder trends. For example, for Nicaragua, it says:
InSight Crime’s 2020 Homicide Round-Up
ANALYSIS Written by Parker Asmann and Katie Jones -JANUARY 29, 2021
Official homicide data is tough to come by in Nicaragua. However, although limited in scope, a report from security expert Elvira Cuadra using media reports put the number of killings committed through the first six months of 2020 at 114. This country is projected to close the year with at least 228 homicides and a murder rate of 3.5 per 100,000.
“In Nicaragua, lethal violence continues, is persistent and shows an increasing trend … 19 murders were registered per month in the first six months and the violence is spreading to rural and urban areas,” Cuadra told local media last year.
Since nation-wide protests took off in 2018, the government of President Daniel Ortega has cracked down hard, repressing those in the opposition and relying on paramilitary groups to sow fear. All of this has increased the chances of more violence in the years to come, according to Cuadra.
In the U.S., murders were fairly stable during the first 10 weeks of the Covid crisis but then exploded after the death of George Floyd in late May. Murders in Latin America didn’t follow a distinct pattern due to Covid.