“How safe is it in Nicaragua?” is a question that we have answered many times since we found out we would be completing our Peace Corps service in Nicaragua. For those of you that don’t mind diving into a meaty article, this provides a hopeful, nuanced look at some different crime statistics and regional sociological factors. There are even links to even juicier articles for the truly nerdy!
For those of you that just want the cliff-notes version: Nicaragua is surprisingly safe 🙂
Haven “Of the People, For the People, By the People”
It sounds reasonable to assume that a high crime rate correlates with political, economical, and social turbulence. But Nicaragua, a country lying in the center of Central America, defies this apparent logic. Despite its reputation as the second poorest country in the western hemisphere, Nicaragua has made remarkable strides in public security compared to its regional neighbors, the Northern Triangle– El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. In 2012, the homicide rate in Nicaragua was 11.3 per 100,000 persons, less than one-third of the rates seen for its three northern neighbors.
Nicaragua’s public safety profile is an even bigger surprise once you consider its economic, political, and geographical reality. As mentioned, Nicaragua’s living standard is one of the lowest among its regional neighbors with almost half the population in unemployment and homelessness. The wage rate for police officers, set at $120 a month, as well as their availability, 18 per 10,000 persons…
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