Sunday, January 15, 2012

AFP is getting a little better reporting on Guatemala

Here's part of today's story on Perez's inauguration from the AFP.
The Central American country has on average 18 murders a day, six times the world average, and has seen large swaths of its territory penetrated by drug cartels using Guatemala as a transit point on their smuggling routes out of South America.
18 murders per day works out to be 6,570 murders. That's a little higher than the 6,498 that the PNC reported for 2009 (the highest on record) and much higher than what it reported for 2010 (5,960) and 2011 (5,681). That was a little disheartening. If one uses 2010's murders, it is 16.3 per day and if you use 2011's murders, it is 15.6. Not great, but 18 to 16.3 to 15.6 tells a little different story.

But then a few paragraphs later, they write that Perez
has vowed to show results in his first six months in office, and to cut in half the murder rate — currently one of the world’s highest at 38 per 100,000 inhabitants — by the end of his term.
38 per 100,000 looks like 2011's murder rate based upon 5,681 murders and a population of 14.7 million.

I guess we should be happy that at least one of the statistics that they cite is current. However, it's still disappointing that they can't realize that the two numbers that they use (per and and per 100,000) are inconsistent.

Now if they would only ask the general why reducing the country's murder rate from 43 per 100,000 (the year before Colom took power) to 38.6 per 100,000 (Colom's last year in office) is evidence of an increasing and out of control crime situation, why is he promising to cut the murder rate in half? By his and the Guatemalan media's standards, that would just mean the country is even worse off than when he took office, right?


  1. His promise is just as bad as Colom's. If I remember correctly, Colom said he would combat violence/crime with intelligence, now this clown Molina says 6 months? What a joke!

  2. Six months is a little ambitious. I hope he does, but I'm just not entirely sure how after six months we are going to be able to evaluate progress. With regards to Colom, intelligence isn't the first word that comes to mind. However, I don't really think anyone has a good handle on why the murder rate, after increasing in 2008 and 2009, has decreased two years in a row.