The homicide rate in Panama is three times the world’s average and seven times higher than the average American city says a UN agency based in the country
The crime rate in has doubled in the last five years, but still trails Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras says the Observatory of Public Safety. In 2005 there were 354 murders. In 2009 the figure shot up 818.
Homicides in the first half of 2010 came to 430, a record similar to the same period in 2009.
The report said the largest number of killings were recorded in the province of Panama (67%), followed by the province of Colon (18%) and Chiriqui (7%). The remaining provinces had 8%.
Peter Grohman director of the UN Program for Development in Panama, said that the statistics reflect further growth of crime in comparison with other Central American nations. "Panama must take appropriate measures" to tackle the crime problem, he said.
According to the report, the number of crimes committed with firearms passed 50% in 2005 and reached 80% in 2009.
The day the report was released Panama’s Minister of Security José Raúl Mulino, left for Israel for an international conference on National Security.