BALTIMORE (WJZ) – The White House’s official Twitter account shared a startling statistic Thursday amid President Donald Trump’s Twitter feud with Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings: Baltimore’s murder rate is higher than that of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
The murder rate in Baltimore is higher than that of Honduras, El Salvador, or Guatemala—the three Central American nations driving our border surge.
Democrats have run Baltimore for 5 decades. It's time for accountability.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) August 1, 2019
The president repeated the claim while speaking with reporters shortly after the tweet was posted.READ MORE: Volunteers Work To Beautify Baltimore, Improve Its Greenspaces
WJZ set out to verify the president’s statistic; here’s what we found.
The White House tweet links to its West Wing Reads blog. The claim in question comes from the Washington Examiner, which reportedly got its data from right-leaning Princeton Policy Advisors.
The Examiner article listed Baltimore’s murder rate at 56 per 100,000 residents compared to El Salvador’s 50, Guatemala’s 22 and Honduras’ 38.
WJZ reviewed data from 2018, the last full year for which data is available.
Data from the U.S. State Department’s Overseas Security Advisory Council lists El Salvador’s murder rate at 50 per 100,000 residents in 2018.READ MORE: Protests Continued In Maryland Saturday Over A SCOTUS Decision To Overturn Roe V. Wade
The council’s report listed Guatemala’s 2018 murder rate at 22 per 100,000.
Honduras’ 2018 murder rate was not included in OSAC’s annual crime and safety report published in April, but a report from the Observatory of Violence at the National Autonomous University of Honduras gave a figure of 41.4 murders per 100,000 residents.
HOW DOES BALTIMORE COMPARE?
Charm City ended 2018 with a total of 309 murders, according to the Baltimore Police Department. So far in 2019, police report 196 homicides have occurred.
Using the U.S. Census Bureau’s July 2018 population estimate for the city of 602,495, Baltimore’s 2018 murder rate is 51.3 murders per 100,000 residents.
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Fact-checked by WJZ digital content producer Logan Reigstad