A record number of murders in 2021, the reason was also the restrictions due to Covid-19

United Nations / Photo: MIA

The number of intentional homicides worldwide rose to a record high in 2021, partly due to the stress and strain on the economy due to Covid-19. According to the global homicide survey of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, about 458 people were killed intentionally in 2021, and from 400 to at most 450 have been recorded each year since researchers began collecting data in 2000.

The significant spike in homicides in 2021 may be due in part to the economic effects of Covid-related restrictions… In the longer term, the negative social and economic consequences of home confinement, which can include increased stress and anxiety, unemployment or loss of income, may can be expected to influence homicide trends by creating an environment of "tension" that drives people to commit crimes, the report said.

Overall, countries in the Americas continue to have the highest homicide rates among the five global regions – more than six times the homicide rate in Europe, which is the lowest.

In 2021, eight of the ten countries with the highest homicide rates were in Latin America and the Caribbean, the report said, citing factors such as criminal groups fighting for control of markets, weak rule of law and social inequality.

Honduras, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and Mexico are among those with the highest homicide rates. The two countries in the top 10 outside of Latin America and the Caribbean are Myanmar and South Africa.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Homicide Survey, published every four to five years, analyzes developments up to 2021, as this is the last year with a full data set.

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