Murders rise in Guatemala

Guatemala City, June 7 (IANS/EFE) The 2,597 homicides committed in Guatemala in the first five months of the year represent an increase of 9 percent over the same period in 2012, the Mutual Support Group, or GAM, said.

The overall increase includes an even bigger rise of 19 percent in the number of women slain compared with January-May last year, GAM director Mario Polanco said Thursday.

Murders of minors grew from 57 in the first five months of 2012 to 70 this year, he said.

Guatemala's most violent provinces are Chiquimula, in the east, and Escuintla, located in the southern part of the country, with respective homicide rates of 96 and 95 per 100,000 residents, according to figures compiled by GAM.

The world median murder rate is 8.8 per 100,000.

--IANS/EFE

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