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Medicina Legal de Costa Rica

On-line version ISSN 2215-5287Print version ISSN 1409-0015


VARGAS SANABRIA, Maikel; SOLANO CALDERON, Leslie  and  BONILLA MONTERO, Raúl. Análisis Médico Legal de los homicidios en Costa Rica en el 2008. Med. leg. Costa Rica [online]. 2009, vol.26, n.2, pp.7-27. ISSN 2215-5287.

Recently, in Costa Rica, topics like citizen security, crime rates and social violence have been a topic on public opinion. There are two positions: violence has increased and violence has not increased. We made this investigation for to give an update of the panorama of homicides in Costa Rica, one of the most important and objective indicator of social violence. We have analyzed all autopsies (a total of 3264) occurred during the year 2008 which were made by the Departamento de Medicina Legal de Costa Rica. From these revision, we obtained that one sixth of these autopsies were homicides, which means that the mortality rate was 11.36 per 100000 habitants, the highest of the modern Costa Rican history. The most common profile of the victims was: male, productive age, homicides occurred predominantly during nights, weekends in capital and main harbor provinces, with death at the scene by gunshot in head, neck or chest; a significant percentage were under alcohol and cocaine effects. We insist in the prevention by education fron the family care as a fundamental tool to avoid social violence.

Keywords : Homicides; social violence; citizen insecurity; violence prevention; mortality rates; forensic pathology; autopsies.

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