According to the 2017 Small Arms Survey, 560,000 people were killed violently across the world last year, equating to 7.5 violent deaths per 100,00 of the global population. 385,000 of those deaths were intentional homicides and guns were used in 210,000 of the killings. The highest levels of firearm-related death were recorded in the Caribbean and Latin America. The following infographic shows countries where deaths from guns accounted for more than 50 percent of all violent deaths in 2016 or in the latest available year. In countries where the rates of lethal violence are low, a mere 12 percent of homicides are committed with guns.
Puerto Rico is an unincorporated U.S. territory and firearms accounted for some 79 percent of violent deaths in 2016. The island has a major crime problem and it has been exacerbated by a $74 billion debt crisis that’s wreaking havoc in state institutions and creating high unemployment. A flourishing trade in illegal drugs is also contributing to violence in Puerto Rico. Elsewhere, guns also fuel the majority of killing in Venezuela and El Salvador, accounting for 78 and 73 percent of violent death respectively. In the U.S. where guns are never far from the headlines, they account for over 60 percent of all violent deaths.
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