“Armed juvenicide”: youth homicides and firearms in Latin America

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“Armed juvenicide”: youth homicides and firearms in Latin America

Category: Crime, Homicide, Youth|Journal: Salud Colectiva (full text)|Author: M Otamendi|Year: 2019

This article analyzes the impact of firearms in the homicides of young people in Latin America today. A cross-sectional descriptive epidemiological study was carried out based on data from the Pan American Health Organization. There were 14,427 deaths due to assaults with firearms in young people, that is, a rate of 14.3 per 100,000 young people for the year 2014 in Latin America. Thus, 80% of all homicides in young people between 10 to 19 years of age in the region were committed with firearms. This especially affects young males, with a rate of 26.5 per 100,000 deaths due to assault with firearms, although it should not be overlooked that the deaths among women are largely femicides. In addition, 1,828 deaths of undetermined intent with firearms (especially in Argentina and Venezuela) and 284 deaths with firearms in legal interventions (showing higher policy lethality among young people) were registered. The corrected rate is therefore 16.4 young people killed by others with firearms per 100,000 youth in Latin America. The need for gun control and disarmament policies, de-stigmatization campaigns and youth development programs is discussed, in order to reduce the current conditions that foster and invisibilize the so-called “armed juvenicide” in Latin America.
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