Here are three Ecuadorian dancers who entertained us on a recent Cotacachi Ecuador real estate tour. The people are so friendly we always feel safe, but many people who write to us ask us about crime. So we have been researching this.
One article about Ecuador crime we found was entitled “Crime and Society, a Comparative Criminology Tour of the World” page published at ROHAN, the Academic Computing Web Server at San Diego State University.
San Diego State University has a highly diverse student population of 33,000 students, including approximately 6,000 graduate students. With 75 masters, 3 masters of fine arts and 16 joint doctoral programs, San Diego State University is currently designated as a “research/high research” institution by the Carnegie Foundation and soon expects to be Doctoral/Research-Extensive.
This report on Ecuador’s crime said: the overall crime rate in Ecuador is low compared to industrialized countries. An analysis was done using INTERPOL data for Ecuador.
For purpose of comparison, data were drawn for the seven offenses used to compute the United States FBI’s index of crime. Index offenses include murder, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft.
The combined total of these offenses constitutes the Index used for trend calculation purposes. Ecuador will be compared with Japan (country with a low crime rate) and USA (country with a high crime rate).
According to the INTERPOL data, for murder, the rate in 1999 was 25.92 per 100,000 population for Ecuador, 1.10 for Japan, and 5.51 for USA.
For rape, the rate in 1999 was 6.2 for Ecuador, compared with 1.78 for Japan and 32.05 for USA.
For robbery, the rate in 1999 was 95.85 for Ecuador, 4.08 for Japan, and 144.92 for USA.
For aggravated assault, the rate in 1999 was 35.59 for Ecuador, 23.78 for Japan, and 323.62 for USA.
For burglary, the rate in 1999 was 164.52 for Ecuador, 233.60 for Japan, and 728.42 for USA.
The rate of larceny for 1999 was 138.32 for Ecuador, 1401.26 for Japan, and 2475.27 for USA.
The rate for motor vehicle theft in 1999 was 52.87 for Ecuador, compared with 44.28 for Japan and 414.17 for USA.
The rate for all index offenses combined was 519.27 for Ecuador, compared with 1709.88 for Japan and 4123.97 for USA.
Only in the rate of murder does Ecuador exceed industrialized countries.
This article stimulated some great reader response.
One subscriber wrote: Thanks for the great article Gary. We live in the burbs of Cleveland OH and there are parts of Cleveland we don’t go especially at night. As you said there is crime everywhere, but thanks to your articles we’ll know the places to stay clear of. We plan on joining you in June of 2009 and will be in touch to get all of the particulars. Until then, keep up the great work, it is much appreciated.
Great job with this topic, Gary — Ecuador is a much improved expat option since I was there in the 1960’s — I’m considering becoming a homeowner there now. The State Department should try doing a “violence alert” for New York City — it ranks right up there with Moscow and Bogotá for downright inhuman violence!
Yet another wrote:
Gary, Good job of explaining your position on Ecuador violence. I suspect that if my wife and I walked the beaches near the New York City or New Jersey Coast late at night alone, we could encounter such violence or more. The sad news is that there is violence every where and although Ecuador is not a “magic pill” against violence we firmly believe that Ecuadorians are peace loving, kind and non-violent by nature. We have a similar problem as you in attempting to explain to our US friends and acquaintances that Ecuador is safe.. only time will help erase this very unfortunate event and it has been an eye opener for us to be more careful everywhere.”
Yet Ecuador is not soft on crime. Steve added this thought:
I am in San Clemente on the coast right now. All is quiet and peaceful. the same was true in Manta, the approach road and on the journey here. Tell your readers that the locals in San Clemente are playing street bingo this Saturday. As I explained what´s in a name?
For us Europeans or American a State of Emergency conjures up all knd of draconian measures such as martial law, riots, food shortages, withdrawal of democratic rights – in fact the whole darn country falling to pieces.
In fact on Friday I caught glimpse of 2 papers – this “state of emergency” made page 17 in ‘El Telegrafo’ and was far inside of ‘La Hora’.
The State is taking corrective measures to curb a wave of gang related violence in Manta, Esmeralda and Guayaquil. So far only Manta has a new police chief but the other two cities are about to follow this week.
So what´s actually happening on the ground regardless of what names are applied to the situation? Basically there have been protests in all three cities because of increased violence this year. The police have responded with emergency operations including joint patrols with the under utilized army. How terrible that the army here has to resort to this instead of fighting foreign wars where they are neither needed, wanted or appreciated. Here the army is appreciated and respected.
Also a SWAT team is about to descend on Manta and break loose all hell on the delinquents here. Lets see where we go from here but State of Emergency – from what I can see – is just a confusing name.
The low crime statistics suggests that Ecuador crime should not be much of a factor when you consider visiting though every place has risk, if you do not take care.
Wherever you go, be careful. Remember that you have to go through a learning curve in any place that is new.
If Ecuador sounds exciting, please do come, look and see for yourself. Most who do and the many families who have moved here feel pretty darn safe…because we have learned where and where not to go.
To assist those interested in Ecuador I have established a full time full support research and assistance team to help Ecuador Living subscribers in any way required. Part of this team are multi lingual Westerners so we understand the Western cultural needs as well as those of Ecuador.
Join us at a course in Cotacachi this winter
We’ll visit the Otavalo markets.
Courses are centered around this open air courtyard in our colonial inn El Meson de las Flores.
You can even work online (as my friend Steve is doing above) while on the coast.
Better still join us all year in Ecuador! See our entire schedule of 26 courses, tours, mingos and expeditions we’ll conduct in 2009.