TEGUCIGALPA — Honduras stands to break world records with its murder rate -- estimated at 86 per 100,000 inhabitants -- putting it ahead of war-torn countries like Iraq and Afghanistan, a study said Thursday.
The study by the Violence Observatory at the National Autonomous University of Honduras said the murder rate was 43.7 per 100,000 inhabitants during the first semester of 2011, up from 36.6 for the same period last year.
Those figures far outpaced countries known for high violence, such as Brazil, Venezuela and South Africa.
Honduras violence left 3,587 people dead during the first six months of this year, up from 2,929 victims during the same period in 2010. At this rate, Honduras will reach 86 murders per 100,000 inhabitants by the end of this year, according to the observatory's coordinator Migdonia Ayestas.
The group said that Honduras, a small Central American country of eight million, had an average of 20 violent deaths a day in 2010, 85 percent of them caused by shootings and 15 percent by non-ballistic weapons.
Honduras leads 207 countries with its murder rate this year, according to a UN study that estimated it at 82.1 deaths per 100,000 people. It is followed in the region by El Salvador (66) and Guatemala (41.4).
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