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April 15, 2014
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Jamaica ranked 6th on murder rate listing

Andre' Williams, STAR Writer

Jamaica is ranked sixth on a recently released list of countries with the highest murder rate worldwide, THE STAR has learnt.

According to www.huffingtonpost.com, a new report released by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime on Thursday serves as a stark reminder of how drastically murder rates vary from country to country.

The Global Study on Homicide 2013 found that nearly half a million people were intentionally murdered in 2012, and killings were largely concentrated in two regions, the Americas and Africa.

UNODC defines homicide as "an unlawful death purposefully inflicted on a person by another person," not directly related to an armed conflict.

THE STAR understands the data is collected from each country's law enforcement or health authorities, or where this is not available, from World Health Organisation estimates.

According to the study, almost half of the 437,000 murders took place in countries with just 11 per cent of the global population.

THE STAR gathered that Jamaica's fight against drugs and organised crime has reduced the country's homicide rate since 2009, but it remains one of the world's most dangerous countries, with 39.3 murders per 100,00 in 2012.

In 2012, the Americas overtook Africa as the region with the highest rate of killings.

The report also shows that murder rates in the Americas have remained high for decades, around five to eight times higher than Europe and Asia since the 1950s.

Also, the UN notes that the Americas have a vastly lower conviction rate for murder, at 24 per cent, compared to 48 per cent in Asia and 81 per cent in Europe.

The complete list:

1. Honduras

2. Venezuela

3. Belize

4. El Salvador

5. Guatemala

6. Jamaica

7. Swaziland

8. Saint Kitts & Nevis

9. South Africa

10. Colombia

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