Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Mapping murder (II)

Here you have a map of Carabobo, a Venezuelan state at the North-centre part of the country. It shows the murder rate for 100000 people per municipality for the time frame September 2008 to September 2009.
For instance: 86 out of 100000 inhabitants were murdered in the municipality of Valencia, in carmine red in the centre, between September 2008 and September of 2009. 104 out of 100000 inhabitants were bound to be murdered during the same period in El Libertador, the municipality in black.

As a reference: Colombia as a nation has a murder rate of 36 murders per 100000 per year, Brazil 25.6, US 5.8, Chile 1.9 and Germany 0.9.

I selected that state because it is relatively easy to get the murder list per month thanks to a newspaper, Notitarde, not because the rate is particularly high for a highly populated state in Venezuela: main urban centers are in similar mess and other regions are not far behind. As population I used the estimate of population for 2010 as published by the Universidad de los Andes. I say relatively easy but I have had to get the statistics for every month and area from normal text, not a table.

Of course, murders are not equally distributed even within a municipality. There are some streets and some slums or quarters that are much more dangerous than others, even if murder is no surprise in any area. I believe a literate police could predict a lot of things if they used the information in a XXI century way (mind, even in a XX century way).

The municipality of Valencia is very big (too big for a municipality), it has about one million people, but most murders take part in the Miguel Pena parish, which is where the number 86 is. That parish, with half a million people, does not have a single general hospital, just one maternity and small, understaffed health centres. It has no real public library (just one little thing they call library at the very border of that parish with "civilization"). El Libertador has the highest murder rate of the state. It also has a huge rubbish depot which is an ecological disaster of incredible proportions (Guasima) and a prison, but the murder we talk about here are those outside that prison (Venezuelan prisons are very lethal, but that is yet another story).

The least dangerous municipalities are San Diego (murder rate just 20), which is the only highly populated municipality with a rather "normal" murder rate, which is rather middle-middle class with some slums, and which is governed by the opposition and Montalban, which is a very thinly populated area.

And our president spent this summer 2200.000.000 dollars (minor commissions) in Russian tanks and rocket launchers for his war against some foreign state.

PS. you can check my last post for the statistics per month of this region.

PS2 it would be nice if you answer to the questions on the right, had you not done so already.

P3 in another post I will write about the totals, distributions and ideas to prevent crime.

UPDATE: Dutch blogger Alpha discovered a site here where more and more of the crimes are reported.


  1. Just in case: Notitarde publishes at the start of every month the murders per municipality of the previous month. I have been putting that data in a spreadsheet. The numbers are based on their daily reports and on the police reports and the morgue reports for each week.

    For instance:


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