Caribbean countries top the list of countries with murder rates higher than the United States
Several Caribbean nations have topped the list of countries with murder rates higher than the United States.
According to year-end statistics, violent crime is on the rise in Caribbean islands such as Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Bahamas, since Jamaica recorded 1660 murders making it the fifth-highest homicide rate in the world, with 49 murders per year per 100,000 people.
While the murder rate in the Bahamas has hit an all-time high in 2009, with 82 murders, Puerto Rico recorded 890 with 18.8 per year per 100,000 people while Trinidad and Tobago amassed 489 homicides, with 30.38 per year per 100,000 people.
Other Caribbean destinations with murder rates higher than the United States included Colombia with 37 murders per 100,000 people, Belize with 30.8, Mexico 25, Dominican Republic 25.56, Haiti with 11.5 and Barbados with 7.49 murders per 100,000 people.
The associated press also reported that most of the killings are related to the drug trade, which in most cases, have a dampening effect on tourism in the countries.
Caribbean destinations with murder rates lower than the U.S. included Dominica with 2.74 and Bermuda with 1.56 murders per 100,000 people.
International figures showed that Iraq is leading in the world with 89 murders per 100,000 people, followed by Venezuela with 65, El Salvador with 55.3 and Honduras with 49.9 murders per year per 100,000 people.
While the report is said to be incomplete, since crime reports from some Caribbean nations fall under those of their parent nations, such as France or the Netherlands, while others may under-report or fail to report crime data, law enforcement agencies are said to be doing all in their respective countries to reduce the crime rates.