From Sun Jul 14 10:30:54 2002
Date: Sat, 13 Jul 2002 23:57:10 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: [rapid-response] CHILD CARNAGE IN NICARAGUA
Article: 142161
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

Child carnage in Nicaragua

Casa-Alianza, 13 July 2002

At least ninety-seven Nicaraguan children and youth under the age of 23 met violent deaths during the last eight months of 2001 according to information collected by Casa Alianza Nicaragua.

The vast majority of the victims—74%—were young boys and youth. 32% of the victims were under 17 years old and 61% were 18 and younger, making the average victim a mere 16 years old.

The killing of street children and at risk youth is rife across the Central American region whilst a growing number of politicians inaccurately try to pin the blame of growing levels of violent crimes on children and youth instead of looking at the real numbers of children and youth who are murder victims.

The Nicaraguan statistics were collected by Casa Alianzas Legal Aid office and through newspaper reports.

The average age of murdered children in Nicaragua is the lowest in Central America. In Nicaragua the average age of the murdered children is 16, in Honduras 17 and in Guatemala 17.6. Nicaragua kills its children younger

In Honduras and Guatemala, the favoured murder weapons used against children and youth are firearms, but this is not the case in Nicaragua. Firearms count for just 36% of the killings whilst knives, beatings, poisonings and suffocation make up the remaining 64% of the violent deaths.

The majority of the child and youth murders in Nicaragua occurred in Managua (45%) followed by the Region Atlantica (16%). Matagalpa and Esteli followed a distant third.

Five of the suspected murderers (5%) are National Police Officers, and two are private security guards. The number of police involved in the murders of children and youth in Nicaragua is less than half the level of police involved in murders of children in neighbouring Honduras. Either way, in either country, the killing of children is NOT acceptable.