The Colombia police said that homicides in the country declined last year, contrary to a report presented last week by the Institute for Legal Medicine and Forensic Science.
Police chief General Oscar Naranjo said that there were 15,817 murders in Colombia last year, down from 16,140 in the previous year.
“We have recorded a steady decline [in homicides] since 2002,” said the general.
A report released by Colombia’s Institute for Legal Medicine and Forensic Science said that the murder rate in 2009 was up 16% from the previous year to 17,717, from 15,250 homicides in 2008.
Naranjo claimed that the police were better placed to record the statisitics as it is the “most deployed institution in the country” and has the ability to collect “real-time information,” while the forensic institute is limited in its scope.
The general added that there was a need for the two institutions to compare information in order to clarify the differences.
Both sets of data are still significantly lower than the early part of the decade, when Colombia had the highest homicide rate in the world.