(Bloomberg) -- Venezuela’s rate of violent deaths dropped to its lowest level in more than two decades following years of massive migration as both criminals and victims fled the nation’s economic crisis. 

The Venezuelan Violence Observatory registered 26.8 violent deaths per 100,000 inhabitants this year from a rate of 35.3 for every 100,000 habitants in 2022, Roberto Briceño León, director of the Observatory, said in a webcast Thursday. That’s its lowest since 2001 and is one-third of what it was in 2016, he added. 

Young people, who have traditionally been the main victims of violence, have fled, while criminals and gangs have emigrated due to the lack of opportunities to commit crimes, according to Briceño León.

While violent deaths in the world have increased due to wars, in most Latin American countries the trend has been a reduction in homicide rates, he said. Venezuela’s 2023 rate still remains high, and in the region is only surpassed by Ecuador and Honduras.

Other numbers from the observatory:

  • Venezuelans’ perception of security is higher
  • The suicide rate rose to 8.2 per 100,000 inhabitants, compared to 6.5 last year, amid Venezuela’s years-long economic and humanitarian crisis

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