Citation(s) from the literature library

Aguirre, Katherine, Robert Muggah, Jorge A. Restrepo, and Michael Spagat. 2006 ‘Colombia's Hydra: The Many Faces of Gun Violence.’ Small Arms Survey 2006: Unfinished Business; Chapter 9, pp. 1-2. Geneva: Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva. 1 June

Relevant contents

Colombia's Hydra: The Many Faces of Gun Violence

This chapter finds that while there is considerable heterogeneity in the nature of homicides over time and space in Colombia, there is a strong contributing factor: firearms. In fact, more than 80 per cent of all homicides in Colombia since the late 1970s have been perpetrated with guns. What is more, this percentage has steadily increased — from about 60 per cent in the 1980s to more than 85 per cent in 2002. By 2005 more than 15 per cent of all deaths by natural and external causes(3) were firearm-related…

[The] chapter presents the following findings…

- More than 80 per cent of all homicides are committed with firearms — with more than half of the variation in external death rates over time attributable to firearms.

- Most weapons in circulation are illegal and unregistered. The number of legally and illegally held weapons (excluding the state security forces) is estimated between 2.3 million and 3.9 million, an ownership rate of 5.05 to 8.42 per 100 inhabitants. Official statistics report only 1.53 legally held firearms per 100 inhabitants, a low rate in comparison with other Latin American countries…

- Colombia's legal arms market is among the most transparent and tightly regulated in the world, despite uneven enforcement.

- The country exhibits a potentially unhealthy regulatory environment for firearms in which state-owned firms that produce and sell firearms also fall under the public entity that is responsible for arms control…


3) External causes of morbidity and mortality include accidents, intentional self-harm, assault, events of undetermined intent, legal intervention and wartime operations, and complications during medical and surgical care.

ID: Q9976

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