Country Listing

Georgia Table of Contents



In the first postcommunist years, levels of crime and civil unrest in Georgia were quite high because of the proximity of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, refugee movement and terrorism resulting from the Abkhazian conflict within Georgia, the gap between official wages and living standards, and the government's lack of police authority in many areas of the country. Crime statistics were unreliable, however, because the extent of law enforcement and reporting varied during 1993. Reported crimes dropped from 1,982 in May to 1,260 in July. In late 1993, however, numerous automobile thefts and kidnappings occurred on Georgian highways, and citizen insecurity prompted the proliferation of private detective agencies.

The natural gas pipeline to Armenia was a frequent target of terrorist bombs in 1993, and several government figures apparently were the targets of unsuccessful bomb attacks. The Mkhedrioni, who often were involved in criminal activity, usually escaped police control because the minister of internal affairs was a Mkhedrioni member. In September, Shevardnadze took personal control of the ministry to bolster police authority.

Data as of March 1994