Bukele says the homicide rate in El Salvador will be ‘even lower’ in 2024

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By LatAm Reports Editor

Police say the average daily death toll was 0.4 in 2023.

El Salvador’s president, Nayib Bukele, said Tuesday that the homicide rate in El Salvador in 2024 will be “even lower” than that recorded last year, after the Statista company placed the Central American country as the safest in Latin America in 2023 after becoming one of the most violent.

Bukele reacted in a message on social network X to a publication of this online statistics portal, which states that El Salvador closed 2023 with a rate of 2.4 murders per 100,000 inhabitants, “at the last place on the table,” as the president pointed out, while at the other end he placed Jamaica, with 60.9.

“SPOILER ALERT: The homicide rate for 2024 leads an even more downward trend,” the president posted in a message in Spanish and English.

According to data from the National Civil Police (PNC), published on its website on 3 January, 154 homicides were recorded in 2023, 341 fewer than the 495 counted in 2022.

Police confirm that the homicide rate in 2023 per 100,000 inhabitants was 2.4 and indicates that the daily average of deaths was 0.4.

The Salvadoran authorities attribute the decrease in homicides during President Bukele’s government to its Territorial Control Plan and the suspension of constitutional guarantees through an emergency regime, which will serve two years in force and has left more than 78,100 arrests.

However, the number of violent deaths in the Central American country began to decline after 2015, when it was placed as the most violent in recent Salvadoran history with 103 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants, and the fall was accentuated in 2019, when the Bukele administration began.

The emergency regime, which has also raised the popularity of Bukele, was approved in Congress, with a large majority official, after an escalation of murders in March 2022 that claimed the lives of 80 people in three days and was attributed to gangs.

An investigation by the local media El Faro indicates that this rise occurred after the break of an alleged pact between the government and the maras.

Government statistics do not include deaths of alleged gang members in clashes with police, osamentas and deaths of alleged criminals at the hands of citizens, cases that were included in the figures of previous governments.

This article has been translated from the original which first appeared in Diario El Mundo