Posted by Emily Dugdale on Jul 22, 2014 Leave a comment

Colombia’s murder rate lowest in 10 years: govt report

Colombia’s murder rate lowest in 10 years: govt report

(Photo: Periodico Hoy)

A national research center has released data analysis surrounding crime in Colombia showing that the homicide rate dropped in 2013 to the lowest rate in 10 years, among other statistics, local media reported on Tuesday.

Colombia’s National Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences (INMLCF) released on Monday their annual report, “Forensis,” providing an analysis of the official statistics surrounding violence and crime in Colombia in 2013.

The report concluded that the homicide rate lowered in 2013, and more people were killed attending cultural or sports events than in confrontations related to the armed conflict, El Tiempo reported.

Sunday was also found to be the most violent day of the week, with the most number of violent acts reported on this day. Some 2,921 homicides were recorded on Sundays in 2013.

The Ministry of Defense similarly reported last week that homicides in the country had dropped 18% in the first half of 2014 compared to the same time period in 2013.

MORE: Colombia’s homicide rate drops 18%, overall crime lowers: Ministry of Defense

Violent deaths and homicides

The report showed that there were 26,636 violent deaths in 2013, 1,873 less than in 2012, showing a drop of 9.12%.

Within this number, there were a recorded 14,294 homicides, with 39% involving gun violence.

A graphic by the INMLCF shows that homicides dominated the violent death categories, with transportation accidents coming in at less than half of the number.

According to the report, in 2013 there were 1,825 murders committed by “an acquaintance, a friend, or a fellow student or co-worker,” a higher statistic than 2012.

Carlos Eduardo Valdes, director of Medicina Legal, indicated that this could confirm that Colombians are increasingly less tolerant, El Tiempo reported.

“This should drive us to ask ourselves why Colombians have this level of aggression. Something is failing,” said Minister of Justice Alfonso Gomez Mendez.

The report showed that 33% of the recorded number of homicides occurred when the the victim was enjoying recreation or leisure activities, with only 6% of the deaths caused in combat situations.

The area with the most registered number of homicides was in the state of Valle del Cauca, with 3,426 cases. 

The region was followed in homicides by the state of Antioquia (2,642 cases), the district of Bogota (1,283) and the state of Atlantico (516).

The cities with the highest number of homicides were Cali (1,989), Bogota (1,283), Medellin (924), Barranquilla (319), and Cucuta (280).  


2013 saw 1,810 people commit suicide in Colombia, breaking down to 1,461 men and 249 women. This is slightly less than in 2012, which saw 1,901 total suicides, men and women.

Sunday was also the day with the highest number of suicides, echoing its place as the most violent day of the week in 2013 according to the report.

Non-fatal injuries

A graphic tweeted by the INMLCF shows the breakdown of non-fatal injuries in 2013, amounting to 302,484 cases. Domestic violence surpassed transportation accidents to be the leading category of non-lethal injuries, with 68,230 cases compared to 41,828, respectively.

Interpersonal violence, or violence between people who know each other, actually increased from 2012 to 2013, with a reported 158,798 cases of interpersonal violence in 2013, an increase from the 115,507 cases counted in 2012 according to Forensis.

The report further indicated that in every hour of 2013, 18 people were hurt or injured in a fight, El Tiempo reported.

Most of the victims injured in fights were young people between 20 and 24 years old, comprising 35% of the total percentage. Fourteen percent of the total victims were adolescents between 10 and 19 years old.

The data also concluded that in 47.42% of the cases, the victim was a friend, family member, or other known person to the aggressor, according to the report.

Sexual Violence

Women are at the top of the list of sexual violence victims, with 17,512 cases in 2013 out of a total of 20,739 according to the study. However, 3,227 of the total registered victims were male.

Sexual violence was greatest in Bogota, with 3,554 cases, followed by the departments of Antioquia with 2,608 and the Cauca Valley with 1,791.

Domestic Violence

The Forensis report showed alarming statistics surrounding domestic violence to children and adolescents, with 9,708 victims being under the age of 18. The number comprises 5,186 girls and adolescent women and 4,522 boys and adolescent men.

The parents of the children were overwhelmingly found to be the aggressors; similarly 85.7% of the cases of domestic violence to children occurred in the home, according to the study.

The study also commented on domestic violence between couples, with 44,743 people reported as victims of this domestic violence.

Of this number, 39,020 were women and 5,723 were men.

The INMLCF uploaded a video that highlights the main statistics and analysis from each of the violence and crime categories researched.