And so we know the official number of murders for 2008, but what was Belize’s
murder rate? That’s a figure arrived at by averaging the number of murders
per 100 thousand citizens. And, the news is that compared to other countries
in the region and the world, Belize’s rate is quite high.
It is 34.2; which means that for every one-hundred thousand citizens, 34 were
victims of murder in 2008.
That is significantly lower than Jamaica – the murder capital of the
Caribbean and one of the deadliest countries on earth – where the murder
rate for 2008 was fifty eight. Belize rate is also lower than St. Kitts whose
rate is 46. That tiny nation – just three quarters the size of Ambergris
Caye - had a serious spike in murders, which increased by 44%. And Trinidad
and Tobago’s rate is also much higher than Belize, coming in at 42 murders
per 100 thousand.
St. Lucia was lower than Belize, with a murder rate of 23, Bahamas came in
at 22, and Barbados the perennial lowest with a murder rate of just 9. Barbados
is the only country in the Caribbean whose murder rate has remained at today
only Barbados has remained at more or less the same rate it had before independence
rate; it is also the most developed country in the region.
As a region, the Caribbean consistently has one of the highest if not the highest
murder rates in the world. We stress that all the figures we quoted –
except for Belize and Jamaica’s are unofficial and from media sources
in the Caribbean.