According to Ecuador’s National Bureau of Crimes Against Life (Dinased), the number of murders recorded in Cuenca has declined for the sixth consecutive year.
As of the end of September, the city’s murder rate stands a 3.8 per 100,000 population. There have been 24 murders in the Cuenca canton in the last 12 months compared to 33 in the previous year.
Dinased chief Dorian Calderón says the latest numbers mean that Cuenca has the lowest murder rate in Ecuador among cities with population of 100,000 or more. “Just as important, it means that Cuenca is one of the safest cities in Latin America,” he said.
By comparison, according to Dinased statistics, the murder rate in Lima, Peru is 12.7; in Mexico City, 21.2; in Buenos Aires, 8.7; in Panama City, 9.6; and in Medellin, Colombia, 20.9.
Of this year’s 24 murders, 75% were cases in which the murderer and victim knew each other, most often related to personal issues or drug transactions gone bad. Six murders were committed during robberies.
Arrests have been made in all but five of the murders, with convictions recorded in more than half the cases.