Chart: COVID-19 Mortality Rates in Latin America and the Caribbean

By Holly K. Sonneland

Mexico has the world’s highest rate of deaths per cases while Peru has the highest death per capita rate.

Six months after lockdowns first went into effect, COVID-19 is showing no signs of leaving Latin America soon. Not only are five of the 10 countries with the most confirmed COVID-19 cases in Latin America, but half of the world’s heads of state who've tested positive are in the region, too. Colombia, which long lingered behind neighbors in confirmed case counts, overtook Peru on September 21 with more than three-quarters of a million cases.

But if initially the focus was often on tracking the spread of the disease via confirmed cases, these days, with the virus more rooted in everyday life for the indefinite future, reports are focusing on mortality statistics as gauges of how effectively various places are combatting the disease.

Even with that shift of focus, Latin America remains the epicenter of the pandemic for the time being. Mexico has the highest rate of deaths as a percent of all cases in the world, Bolivia the third highest, and three other Latin American countries round out the top 10. When it comes to another metric for measuring mortality—number of deaths per 100,000 people—seven countries from the region are in the top 10, with Peru and Bolivia taking the top two spots, respectively.

AS/COA Online looks at how those two metrics have evolved in countries from late May, when the virus had picked up in most countries, to late September.