Study: 43 of the Most Dangerous Cities in the World Are in Latin America

Reuters/Carlos Eduardo Ramirez
Reuters/Carlos Eduardo Ramirez

Out of the 50 most dangerous cities in the world, an incredible 43 of them are located in Central or South America, according to a study released by Mexico’s Citizens’ Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice.

Brazil leads the way, with an astonishing 21 cities named on the list, followed by Venezuela, with eight, Mexico, with five, and the United States and South Africa, with four. Colombia had three cities on the list; Honduras had two. El Salvador, Guatemala, and Jamaica each had one city on the list.

Ranked by the number of homicides per 100, 000 inhabitants in 2015, the top ten most dangerous cities were listed as:

  1. Caracas, Venezuela – 119.87
  2. San Pedro Sula, Honduras – 111.03
  3. San Salvador, El Salvador – 108.54
  4. Acapulco, Mexico – 104.73
  5. Maturin, Venezuela – 86.45
  6. Distrito Central, Honduras – 73.51
  7. Valencia, Venezuela – 72.31
  8. Palmira, Colombia – 70.88
  9. Cape Town, South Africa – 65.53
  10. Cali, Colombia – 64.27

The last four years, San Pedro Sula was ranked at the top of the list.

The four American cities listed were:

  1. St Louis, Missouri, U.S. – 59.23
  2. Baltimore, Maryland, U.S. – 54.98
  3. Detroit, Michigan, U.S. – 43.89
  4. New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S. – 41.44

All four cities have Democratic mayors.

Latin America contains eight percent of the world’s population, according to the UN.

The Citizens’ Council stated, “We make this ranking with the political objective of calling attention to the violence in the cities, particularly in Latin America, so that their governments are under pressure to improve their obligation to protect their citizens, to guarantee their right to public security.”

The city with the most dramatic increase in murders was Palmira in Colombia, whose murder rate nearly doubled in 2015, catapulting it from 32nd place to eighth.

The survey does not include deaths in combat zones or cities with unavailable data.


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