Country Listing

Colombia Table of Contents



During the late 1950s and early 1960s, Colombia had the third highest rate of homicides in the world. Nearly three decades later, Colombia still was counted among the world's top countries in terms of the ratio of the number of murders to the size of the population. According to the 1985 national census, murder was the fourth most common cause of death in the country. In 1984 murders, kidnappings, and street crimes reportedly were so common that the elite considered private bodyguards and armored cars a necessity. In 1987 an estimated 16,000 Colombians were murdered. In 1988 the continuing deterioration in the internal security situation suggested that the trend toward an increased incidence of violent crime was unlikely to be reversed in the short term.

Data as of December 1988