The 2015 Global Peace Index shows that Central America and the Caribbean has the worst rates of homicide and violent crime in the world, due to urban gang violence and drug-related crime. This is especially the case in the golden triangle, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, as well as in the Caribbean states of Jamaica, Dominican Republic and Trinidad and Tobago.
Costa Rica and Jamaica saw the largest improvements in peace this year. Costa Rica’s improvement followed lower homicide rates and improved relations with neighbouring countries. In Jamaica, the likelihood of violent demonstrations decreased, whilst the country increased funding to UN peacekeeping mission, a sign of commitment to global peace. However, even with these improvements, Jamaica’s level of domestic peace remained low, due to both a high homicide rate and overall level of violent crime.
The countries whose scores slipped the most in the 2015 index were El Salvador due to increases in the level of political terror, and Nicaragua due to increases in violent crime.
Mexico has the lowest level of peace in the region, and remains mired in domestic conflict against drug-related violence. Despite this, it saw improvement in the score for security officers and police rate, as the government of Enrique Peña Nieto has implemented less aggressive tactics than his predecessor to combat drug cartels.
More positively, many countries in the region benefited from the absence of intra-regional conflicts, generally friendly relations with neighbouring countries and minimal nuclear and heavy weapons capabilities among them.
The 2015 Global Peace Index shows that the world is becoming increasingly divided with some countries enjoying unprecedented levels of peace and prosperity while others spiral further into violence and conflict.
Vision of Humanity is an initiative of the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). IEP have offices in New York and Sydney. For more specific inquiries related to the peace indexes and research, please contact IEP directly.