We keep reading editorials justifying the the thousands of unaccompanied minors surging into the U.S by the high murder rate in those central American countries from which they come. So how high is it?
The United Nations publishes stats on the subject. See UNODC Homicide Statistics 2013 for links to various documents, for example, download Homicide counts and rates, time series 2000-2012 for a country breakdown.
El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras are cited most frequently by the press, so let's look at those three.
El Salvador -- For the year 2012, according to the document cited above, El Salvador had a murder rate of 41.2 per 100,000. That's a huge improvement over 2011 in which they had a 69.9 rate. That's a 41% drop. So it's going in the right direction, but that doesn't fit the narrative.
Guatemala - For the year 2012 Guatemala had a 39.9 murder rate per 100,000. For 2011 it was 38.6, and that's in line with the whole 13 year period covered by the stats. So it's not a new problem.
Honduras - The murder rate has been rising, and for 2012 and 2011 the rate was 90.4 and 91.4 respectively. The rate was steady at around 50 from 2000 to 2007 but took a big jump in 2008, and has stayed high.
So is this a reason to send children accompanied across Mexico to the U.S? One would have to weigh the risk. A murder rate of 90.4 in Honduras means that 99,909.6 out of 100,000 people didn't get murdered. It leads one to speculate that the chance of getting murdered at home wasn't the reason for sending a child unaccompanied on a long, dangerous trip.
Let's look at a country on another continent, Nigeria. In spite of the horror of the murdered and kidnapped school kids, Nigeria had a murder rate of only 20 per 100,000 in the year 2012 according to the UN stats. If the murder rate is the motivating factor for migration, perhaps Nigeria should be a possible destination for the next wave.