Colombia ranks in fourth place in the Americas for firearm-related deaths, according to a study conducted by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
The South American country ranks only behind Brazil, the United States and Mexico for the number of deaths caused by gunshots with the data covering the period from 1990 to 2016.
The Americas’ deadliest countries
- United States
Source: JAMA network
Carlos Castañeda, director of the National Health Observatory of the National Health Institute (INS) expressed serious concerns about the situation in Colombia, highlighting that efforts to curb violence in the South American country are failing.
“The efforts in the intervention of violent death in the country are not giving the expected results, Colombians are killing each other,” he said to Blu Radio.
The study highlighted factors such as the availability of firearms, the difficulties in accessing education, inadequate ways to resolve conflict and the consumption of alcohol in explaining Colombia’s high placing on the table.
The figures also indicated that 90% of those killed by gunshot wounds are young people between the ages of 20 and 30 years old.
“In Colombia in 2016 we have a figure of 13,300 deaths per year due to this cause, which is the first cause of death in the country, most of the dead are men between 20 and 30 years of age, which is the most productive stage,” said Castañeda.
Globally, 64% of the deaths were the result of homicide, 27% were suicides, and 9% were accidental.
While for decades Colombia has been marred by drug-related violence, the South American country is currently being devastated by the slaughter of human rights activists, community leaders and land claimants.
Figures from the country’s ombudsman office say 343 have been murdered between January 1, 2016 to August 22, 2018.
The country’s ombudsman has described the as an “extermination”, while the United Nations and various NGOs have described the situation as a crisis and urged the country’s administration to step in.
According to the country’s prosecution, Colombia’s private sector is using death squads to assassinate social leaders who seek the return of stolen land,
Authorities have long claimed that drug traffickers and ELN guerrillas were behind the killings, but top officials told President Duque last month that businessmen are behind many of the killings to prevent the restitution of land they stole during the war.