Navajo Nation Murder Rate Increased In 2013

April 28, 2014

The Navajo Nation is dealing with a sharp increase in homicides. The tribe’s per-capita murder rate last year was four times higher than the national figure.

New FBI statistics show the vast Navajo Nation saw a dramatic rise in the murder rate last year. It reported a total of 42 homicides. That’s compared to 34 in 2012.  The FBI says that’s higher than murder rates in Seattle and Boston in 2013.  About 180,000 people live on the Navajo Nation, which covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly told the Guardian newspaper there are 280 police officers on the reservation and the FBI often investigates murders. Navajo police officials say most of the murders last year were not gun-related.