The urgency of building competent, professional police has only grown over the past decade. More than 57,000 people were murdered from 2001 through 2011; the homicide rate climbed from 28 per 100,000 persons in 2001 to a peak of 46 per 100,000 in 2009."There is hope that this trend may be reversing"? Isn't the decline in 2010 and 2011 evidence that it is? And last I looked, Guatemala was on pace for ~33 per 100,000 in 2012.
There is hope that this trend may be reversing: the rate fell to 41 in 2010 and to 39 in 2011. But that is still higher than Colombia (32 per 100,000), where guerrillas and other armed groups continue to operate, and more than double the average in the Americas overall (sixteen), about eight times the rate in the U.S. (five) and ten times the average in Europe (3.5).
Why not compare Guatemala's rate to El Salvador and Honduras? Who compares it to the US, Europe, or Colombia? Would Guatemala's rate look too good if they compared it to its neighbors in the Northern Triangle?
That's not to say that Guatemala doesn't have a lot of work to do. It obviously does. I just always find the comparisons that people choose to be strange at times.