"In several areas of the country there is an increase in the number of suicides. Merida would be the epicenter" affirms the Venezuelan Observatory of Violence
The strong crisis in Venezuela has affected its population in different ways. Some people have left the country, but for those who have stayed, the situation has even led to suicide. The main cause, according to the Venezuelan Observatory of Violence, is that the salaries people receive are not enough to cover their needs.
In its most recent report, the Venezuelan Observatory of Violence calls attention: "in several areas of the country there is an increase in the number of suicides. Merida would be the epicenter. There the rate was the highest in the last 30 years, there are 19 per hundred thousand inhabitants." Roberto Briceño León, director of the Observatory, emphasizes that for the national government these figures should start to worry it, since in the report only takes into account until the month of March and the crisis has worsened in recent months.
For the psychiatrist Belinda Labrador, the cases of patients with depression have increased in the last six years, mainly due to the crisis and the affectations this has brought, "the lack of food, medicines, money is leading the population to collapse." For Labrador, who has studied the trend of suicides in the last decade, suicide is seen as the way out of what is being lived.
"Depression, which should be treated with psychological therapy and, in cases of greater severity with medication, has become a trend in Venezuela due to the lack of money to pay for therapies and the absence of medicines in the territory," says the lawyer Fermín Mármol García when making an evaluation of the recent cases of Venezuela.
Situation in Latin America
The suicide rate in Venezuela for the year 2017 closed at 19.09 per hundred thousand inhabitants, the highest in the country in the last 30 years. Only 17 countries have a higher rate than the South American country, taking into account the most recent report of the World Health Organization with data for 2015, among which are: Belgium (20.5), Guyana (29.0) ), Japan (19.7), South Korea (28.3), and Russia (20.1).
If one considers the situation that Venezuela is experiencing, it is not surprising that, with the rate registered in 2017, it also occupies a discouraging place in the region. "In general, the suicide rate in Latin America is three or four per hundred thousand inhabitants. Different happens in Southeast Asia or in Northern Europe where it is 19 or 20. A suicide rate in 19 is a huge thing; and we began to see that it is a social phenomenon and not strictly individual, "says Briceño León.
According to the same WHO report, the average suicide rate in the Americas is 9.8 per 100 thousand inhabitants, which is below the European average of 15.4 per 100,000 inhabitants. On the continent, the country with the highest suicide rate is Guyana, with 29 per 100 thousand inhabitants, being one of the highest rates in the world.
Bolivia and Uruguay follow with rates of 18.7 and 17 respectively. However, now Venezuela, with the report of the Venezuelan Observatory of Violence, is located over these two countries. In addition, it puts a new Latin American country on the European average. The world average stands at 11.4 suicides per 100,000 inhabitants.
In an analysis done by Labrador, with the data of the WHO, it was found that the population most vulnerable to this situation in Latin America is the highest at 70 years, and the one that oscillates between 18 and 34 years. "Depression is still the biggest cause of this type of death," says Labrador. This psychiatrist also mentions that it is important to note that for every suicide committed in Latin America, there is an average of 6.3 failed attempts.
Latin American Post | Carlos Eduardo Gómez Avella
Translated from “A esto ha llegado la crisis en Venezuela: La tasa de suicidios sobrepasa la media mundial”