Murder rates in the City of Buenos Aires dropped from 5.08 to 4.98 homicides per 100,000 people in 2017, according to a report released by the City’s Council of Magistrates (Consejo de la Magistratura) on Monday. This figure means that, overall, there were 144 reported homicides, three less than the previous year.
The rate has been declining since 2014, when it hit 6.85 – or 198 reported cases.
However, half of them were not committed in the context of a robbery or of violence between gangs, but were in fact femicides.
While the total number has declined, this report points to evident disparity between regions within the city. The so-called “neighborhoods in state of emergency” (shantytowns, or villas, in Spanish) accounted for 63.83 percent of the murders that took place in the City, and had in average a rate of 28.24 per 100,000 people, almost six times the total. The neighborhood of Flores was by far the area that saw most events of the kind, with 27 homicides, 18.75 percent of the total. Most of them took place in the Cilla 1-11-14 – included in the neighborhood – while 18 percent of them were reported to have been a result of violence occurring in disputes among drug gangs.
Whilst the shanty towns still remain the most dangerous areas of Buenos Aires, there have been some signs of a decrease of murder rates – within Barracas, the Villa 21-24 has seen a notable decrease in comparison to 2016, with 5 less homicides, which made up 10.64 percent of the total.
In contrast with these figures, higher-income areas such as Palermo Hollywood, Puerto Madero, and Recoleta had on average a significantly lower homicide rate than the average, clocking in at 3.56.
To put this all into perspective relative to the rest of the world’s homicide rates, in 2016 Argentina had a recorded homicide rate of 5.94 people per 100,000 inhabitants. When looking at Latin America, Argentina is placed in the lower tier: it has a higher rate than Chile’s 3.46, but at the same time it is much lower than Venezuela, Brazil, and Colombia’s staggering 56.33, 29.53, and 25.5, respectively.