Authorities in Chile, a country considered to be one of the safest in South America, reported five homicides within the last 24 hours. The unusually high number is related to the increasing activity of national and international criminal groups in the country. The murders were recorded in the municipalities of La Serena, Valparaíso, Villa Alemana, and Estación Central.
According to the Carabineros, Chile’s militarized police force, as of August, murders had gone up by 50 percent this year.
This surge is linked to gang reckonings and territorial disputes between drug traffickers. Official data from the Chilean Prosecution Office for Criminal Analysis and Investigative Focus also highlights soaring figures for kidnapping for ransom.
The report also mentions an increase in firearms circulation, a key factor behind the increase in violence. Between 2016 and 2021, Chilean authorities did not know the whereabouts of 64 percent of registered firearms.