With many eyes on Venezuela, due to the constant vilification of now deceased Hugo Chavez by the corporate media, what often gets lost is the social and economic revolution in Ecuador. President Rafael Correa was elected once again in Ecuador on February 17, 2013 with a stunning majority of voters, especially youth, turning out in droves. With over 57% of the vote, the Correan government is clearly on the path to what is known here as 21st century socialism. Everywhere one can witness social investments in infrastructure, women’s shelters, schools, hospitals, the elderly, stopping delinquency amongst youth, aiding the disabled and anything and everything having to do with bettering the plight of human beings. The country is clearly on the march to make life better for Ecuadorians.
This week, February 20, 2013, in the government newspaper, El Ciudadano, put out in Ecuador, it was reported that when it comes to crime:
“One of the achievements of the national government, security, is the reduction in the rate of homicides and murders nationwide by 27%, between 2008 and 2012.
By the end of 2012, the country had a rate of 12.14 cases per 100 000 inhabitants. This represents a historic reduction compared to what obtained in 2011 (15.36 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants). In 2011, 2,345 cases of homicides and murders were reported, while in 2012 it was down to 1,884. This is one of the lowest figures obtained in the last twelve years (El índice de homicidios en Ecuador está por debajo del promedio de la región y menor al de EE.UU).
The paper noted that according to the Inter-American Security Monitoring (http://interamericansecuritywatch.com/), Ecuador’s homicide rate is far below the Latin American average, which is 24.4 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants. The Latin American countries with the highest incidence of murders are Honduras (81.91 per 1000,000 inhabitants), El Salvador (65.09 per 1000,000 inhabitants), Jamaica (39.52 per 1000,000 inhabitants ), Colombia (29.99 per 1000,000 inhabitants), Dominican Republic (23.47 per 1000,000 inhabitants) and Mexico (21. 69 per 1000,000 inhabitants.
Now turn to the United State where a study by the Atlantic Cities report, presented in January 2013, reveals that the US has homicide and murder rates of higher than those of the world’s most violent nations (http://m.theatlanticcities.com/politics/2013/01/gun-violence-us-cities-compared-deadliest-nations-world/4412/). Visit the site to see a stuning map of US murder and homicides.
According to the report, citing data from the Office on Drugs and Crime United Nations (ODCUN) just one example can be found in the city of New Orleans, where violent homicides equal the number of violent deaths in the entire country of Honduras (60 murders per 100,000 inhabitants).
The homicide/murder rate in the United States is mainly owed to the fact that the U.S. is one of the countries with the largest number of civilians carrying weapons — between 270 and 300 million armaments in private hands worldwide. Couple this with massive unemployment, divestments in all things public, disillusionment amongst the US masses, drug addiction to both illegal and legal drugs, and contamination of the mind by the corporate owned sock puppet media, the US empire can clearly be seen to be on the decline, its citizens armed, hepped-up on drugs, homicidal and dangerous.
The study also stated that so called freedom of gun ownership not only endangers the lives and safety of the American people, but the easy to obtain weapons flow to Mexico and the triangle of Central America (Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador) that represents the gateway for drug trafficking to the United States, where illegal drug consumption is one of the highest in the world.
The average possession of firearms per 100 people, this according to the UNODC & Small Arms Survey is 88.8 in the US, while Ecuador, a nation with strong gun control laws it is a mere 1.3 per 100 people.
Reducing the rate of homicides and murders in Ecuador is largely due to the implementation of the National Plan of Integrated Security, which supports a vision and mission bent towards human rights. This implemented plan is directed to all the efforts of state and community policing nationwide. And it is working.
The National Police in Ecuador are closer to the people, neighborhoods, schools and colleges, commercial and financial activities in public spaces and they work in coordination with the community on prevention with neighborhood brigades —17,961 nationally.
The work done by the National Government, for six years now, in terms of security, so far shows incredibly positive results.
For example, between January and December 2012 there was a significant decrease in the incidences of four of seven counts that are technically measured. The figures for homicides / murders were down 19.66%, commercial burglary was down 0.61%, vehicle theft down 2.71, and road assaults plummeted 4.36%. This all indicated a substantial reduction, when compared with those figures obtained in 2011.
In 2001 Ecuador had a rate of 13 thousand homicides for every 100,000 inhabitants of the country. Until 2006 the figure continued to rise to 18 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. Starting in 2007 it began to drastically decline, until it reached an astounding historical low — a record of 12 cases per 100 thousand habitants, in 2012.
Clearly the social policies of this tiny nation, once the playground of Spain and the backyard of American imperialism, have had a dramatic effect on employment, social values, and social welfare. Meanwhile in the US, where gun control seems out of the question and privatization replaces public interests, the homicide rate rises and the Empire drowns in its own blood. Clearly, 21st century socialism is superior to 21st century monopoly capitalism.