Corsica: the island of homicides

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People in Corsica kill twice as much as on the Continent. Figures released by the Interior Ministry give an uncompromising assessment of an island where the homicide is breaking all records

The conclusions of the register of crimes and misdemeanors recorded in France since 1996 will not surprise many people but their scale, no doubt.

Compared to the population of the two departments of Corsica, the number of homicides committed on the island since 1996 is the most important of the national whole – and by far.

In absolute value, the statistics recorded in the Bouches-du-Rhône, boosted by a Marseille frenzy of assassinations and settling of scores, propel this department at the top of the French ranking with 1286 homicides in nineteen years (including 274 settlements accounts), closely followed by Paris (1,012 homicides for the same period).

But in relative terms, with respective ratios of 3.81 and 2.77 facts recorded per 100,000 inhabitants, these two departments are far from island records, which culminate at 6.5 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants and 436 cases of murder and assassinations recorded since 1996.

The conclusions of the register of crimes and misdemeanors recorded in France since 1996 will not surprise many people but their scale, no doubt. Compared to the population of the two departments of Corsica, the number of homicides committed on the island since 1996 is the most important of the national whole – and by far.

BOOK. Homicides and attempts in Corsica

In absolute value, the statistics recorded in the Bouches-du-Rhône, boosted by a Marseille frenzy of assassinations and settling of scores, propel this department at the top of the French ranking with 1286 homicides in nineteen years (including 274 settlements accounts), closely followed by Paris (1,012 homicides for the same period).

But in relative terms, with respective ratios of 3.81 and 2.77 facts recorded per 100,000 inhabitants, these two departments are far from island records, which culminate at 6.5 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants and 436 cases of murder and assassinations recorded since 1996. In detail, the figures reveal a reality that is hardly more contrasted from one department to another.

“Reported to the population, the number of homicides reaches its highest level in Corse-du-Sud, with 220 dead for 145,846 inhabitants,” note experts from the SSMSI (Ministerial Statistical Service for Homeland Security), a cell. composed of police, gendarmes and statisticians established in 2014 after questioning the methods of calculating offenses.

Over a hundred settling of scores

But the nature of the facts observed brings the two island constituencies together, marked by the predominance of settling of scores, essentially linked to organized crime (53 in Corsedu- Sud, 51 in Haute-Corse) and the very strong involvement of firearms in these records.

For the rest, the data also illustrate crimes often overshadowed by headlines between rogue gangs. Thus, 13 homicides were committed as a result of theft or burglary (8 for Corse-du-Sud, 5 in Haute-Corse) and 11 were due to beatings and injuries. Children, another received idea, are not spared.

Eight “minors under the age of fifteen” have lost their lives since 1996 (4 in Haute-Corse, 4 in Corse-du-Sud), figures to be tempered by, among other things, the double murder of his twin brothers by Andy Fromageau in August 2009 in Porticcio.

Selective outrage

Behind the icy facade of statistics there is still a portrait of an island that nothing seems to be able to cure from an atavistic penchant for violence, a region where decision-makers most often reserve their indignation at the truths of evidence, so painful to hear were those who made Manuel Valls, then Minister of the Interior, say in 2013 that the violence was “rooted in Corsican culture”.

To be sure, this Corsican culture whose defenders are so willing to step up to the plate to defend the specificity is not limited to homicide. But honesty commands us to look at crime as a fact that seems desperately constitutive. Until when?

Difficult to contest figures

If the accounting methods chosen by the authorities for lesser offenses continue to raise doubts and criticisms, the consideration of homicides, it, practically does not make debate for obvious reasons: difficult to question the qualifi cation of murder or murder when a victim is found riddled with bullets on a sidewalk or stabbed with stabs in the kitchen of his apartment. Even the researcher Laurent Mucchielli, usually very circumspect when it comes to statistics, believes that “taking into account all acts of delinquency or criminality, homicide constitutes the most reliable and stable data unlike other offenses, the criminal law of which has profoundly changed their qualifications without changing the method of recording them ”. From this point of view, by its very nature, crime solves all problems of nomenclature. There remains, according to the sociologist, the question of the “black figure” of homicides: unreported or undiscovered facts which, in essence, escape any count.

Excerpt from the Settimana, in addition to your Corse-Matin on Friday 23 October

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