Ecuador’s Interior Ministry reports that homicides have fallen 25% during the first five months of 2015. The ministry says that the country now has less than six murders per 100,000 residents, the lowest on record.
According to InsightCrime, a service that tracks international crimes statistics, the new rate puts Ecuador behind only Chile and Bolivia for homicides among Latin American countries.
Interior Minister Jose Serrano said that the new statistics distinguish Ecuador as one of the crime fighting success stories in the world. “The rapid drop in the murder rates, as well as other violent crimes, is significant globally,” he said. He added that the improvement is due to large increases in funding for law enforcement during the administration of President Rafael Correa. When Correa took office, in 2006, the murder rate stood at 19.5 per 100,000.
Serrano said that other violent crime categories have shown similar declines over the past eight years.
The interior ministry also reported a decline in traffic death of 20% over the past year, putting the death toll at 10.5 per hundred thousand, which is about average for all Latin American countries. “Historically, we have had a high rate of traffic deaths and we reducing that number,” he said.
Serrano said the National Police have stepped up efforts to stop drunk drivers and are making more speeding arrests than at any time in the country’s history.