Crime in the Caribbean arrests growth

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The new UN–World Bank report links the low rates of economic development to record high crime levels in the region.

Caribbean nations have world's highest murder rates – 30 per 100,000 people annually. Violence against women is commonplace (48 percent reporting their "sexual initiation" as forced) and the rate of kidnappings is on the rise (Trinidad and Tobago almost doubling its 1999 numbers).

The price for lawlessness is soaring. Skilled workers are leaving the region – an alarming 89 percent of college graduates emigrate from Guyana each year. Jamaica spends almost 4 percent of GDP on security, and 4 out of 10 managers said that crime levels kept them from investing in the islands.

If Haiti and Jamaica brought their homicide rate to that of Costa Rica, both countries would experience a growth spurt of more than 5 percent, says the report.

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