Venezuela’s Casualties of Revolution
According to a 2005 U.N. report, more people die from gunfire in Venezuela than in any other country on Earth (including Iraq).Citing only gunfire deaths arguably obscures the issue since explosions in Iraq are also a source of civilian harm. But even after including civilian fatalities from all war-related violence, Iraq’s civilian fatality rate over the past six months is still less than the most recently reported homicide rates from Venezuela.
Analyzing figures provided by the Department of Defense as part of the Iraq Index project, the Brookings Institution estimates that about 4,850 civilian deaths occurred in Iraq between September 2007 and February 2008, the last six months for which data is available. Given Iraq’s population of 27.5 million, this translates to a rate of approximately 35 civilian fatalities per 100,000 people per year, which, make no mistake, is too high.
The numbers for Venezuela are significantly worse…
- According to a UNESCO study cited by the New York Times, presumably the study referred to by Ambassador Middendorf, Venezuela suffered 41.4 gun deaths per 100,000 people in 2002.
- The same New York Times article, using official figures from Venezuela’s Criminal Investigations Police, reported a total of 7,616 murders in Venezuela through the first 8 months of 2006, a rate of 44 homicides per 100,000 people per year.
- According to the the Venezuelan newspaper El Universal, the Criminal Investigations Police reported a total of 12,249 murders in Venezuela between January 1 and November 30 of 2007, a rate of 51 homicides per 100,000 people per year. (h/t Gateway Pundit)
- The Times article reports that the current murder rate in Venezuela is approximately double what it was in 1999, the year President Hugo Chavez took office.