Cost of Crime in Central America

An ECLAC study has revealed that companies in Guatemala and El Salvador pay the highest costs because of organized crime in Latin America.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

According to data from the Global Competitiveness Index 2012-13, analyzed by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), in its report on safety in the logistics sector in the region, Guatemala has a score of 1.86, on a scale of 1 to 7, regarding the influence of crime and violence in operating costs of enterprises, where 1 is "very much" and 7 means "nothing".

Meanwhile El Salvador had a score of 1.87, Honduras 1.98, Nicaragua 4.09, and Costa Rica 3.85. "Costa Rica, Chile, Uruguay, Panama and Argentina are the five safest countries in the region. The first four have a stable trend in public safety, but in Argentina there are chances that this stability may change ... ", reported

"The study indicated that in Latin America the cost of crime represents 1.01% of companies sales, but in El Salvador that cost rises to 2.58%, being surpassed only by Egypt and eight other countries in Africa ".

More on this topic

Central America: Highest Homicide Rate in the World

April 2014

Drug trafficking and gangs are the main factors responsible for intentional murders in the most violent countries in the world: Honduras, Belize, El Salvador and Guatemala.

According to a report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime at the United Nations (UNODC), in 2012 Honduras recorded 90.4 killings per 100,000 inhabitants.

Escalation of Drug Trafficking in Central America

March 2011

The lack of government capacity and economic power disadvantage compared to the drug industry, has lead to an increase in violence and corruption.

"Using systematic violence and corruption, intimidation and extortion of public officials, the wealthy and powerful criminal groups have been able to weaken police and judicial systems.

The Power of Central America's Drug Traffickers

August 2010

Do these countries have a real chance of stopping drug trafficking, in the context of economies like Guatemala's where the value of the drug economy is double the country's GDP?

In 2007, just 1% of all South American cocaine sold in the USA passed through the region. Now the figure is between 60% and 90%.

100.000 Gang Members in Central America

March 2010

Organized crime, especially the one related to drug trafficking, recruits its members in young, marginalized populations.

Antonio María Costa, executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), stated that “Central America is very vulnerable to organized crime, due to a series of factors which include underdevelopment, large flow of guns and a young population”.

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