If you think that South Bronx, East Harlem, Brownsville and Bedford Stuyvesant are dangerous areas, then you better think again. These places, and New York City in general, have got it made compared to some cities in Latin America. Murders and homicides occur regularly, and a lot goes unpunished. These are the top ten most dangerous cities in the world:
1. San Pedro Sula, Honduras – 158.87 murders per 100,000 inhabitants
This city is located in the northwest part of the country. It is the industrial center of Honduras, its second largest city and is considered as their judicial capital. It is a major transportation hub of the country, and it is estimated to be responsible for two thirds of the country’s gross domestic product. Unfortunately, it is also a major and strategic distribution point for the drug trade as the narcotics get funneled to the United States. The city of just over 700,000 people saw more than a thousand murders. It has dislodged Mexican cities as the most dangerous place in the world.
2. Juarez, Mexico – 147.77 murders per 100,000 inhabitants
Formerly known as Paso del Norte, it lies near the Rio Grande just south of El Paso in Texas. The two cities combined comprise the second largest bi-national metropolitan area in the border. It is also considered one of the most violent areas in the world outside of war zones. The presence of drug cartels in the area accounts for most of the homicides. Female sexual homicides are also common.
3. Maceio, Brazil – 135.26 murders per 100,000 inhabitants
The city of Maceio is the largest city and the capital of the Brazilian coastal state of Alagoas. Alagoas is considered the vast country’s most violent state, with Maceio topping the list in terms of number of murders per a hundred thousand inhabitants. As a matter of fact, Maceio is considered as the murder capital of the whole of Brazil. In this part of the country, disagreements are settled with fists or, even worse, knives. Those with money hire contract killers. The victims and murderers cannot be distinguished from each other because they all fit the same profile of being unemployed, addicted to drugs and illiterate. State officials claim that tourists are actually safe because the violence is usually restricted in the slum areas.
4. Acapulco, Mexico – 127.92 murders per 100,000 inhabitants
Acapulco used to enjoy a good reputation for tourists, as it is one of the ports of call for shipping and cruising lines between San Francisco in California and Panama. It has Mexico’s largest beach and it is the largest city in the state, even larger than that of the capital, Chilpancingo. Just like other Mexican cities, however, Acapulco has been taken over by violent drug cartels. Three organized criminal groups, La Familia, Los Zetas and Sinaloa, are battling for control of the area.
5. Distrito Central, Honduras – 99.69 murders per 100,000 inhabitants
Distrito Central is located in one of the most violent areas in the country. It contains the departmental and national capital of Honduras called Tegucigalpa. The combination of high unemployment and drug trafficking has made the district a criminal magnet, with crime groups often targeting tourists. Armed robberies have flourished against buses and cars traveling from the airport to the hotels in the area. Intentional homicides are also high in the city.
6. Caracas, Venezuela – 98.71 murders per 100,000 inhabitants
Caracas is the capital of the oil-rich nation. It is located in the northern part of Venezuela and it follows the shape of the Caracas Valley. Poor citizens inhabit the hills around the city, and these areas are considered dangerous at any time of the day. A lot of murders and other violent crimes are usually unsolved.
7. Torreon, Mexico – 87.75 murders per 100,000 inhabitants
Torreon is the capital city of the state of Coahuila in Mexico. Included in the larger metropolitan area are Coahuila, Gomez Palacio, Lerdo and Matamoros. It is considered as the ninth largest metropolitan area of Mexico, and is also one of the country’s most important industrial and economic centers. Drug cartels abound in the area as well, with the different families killing each other while battling government authorities.
8. Chihuahua, Mexico – 82.96 murders per 100,000 inhabitants
The city of Chihuahua is the capital of the Mexican state of the same name. Light and heavy industries, as well as manufacturers of consumer goods and items, dominate its economy. Chihuahua is confronted by a significant number of crimes related to property. Graffiti is common, along with theft. There is also a large number of murders related to the drug cartels, the most famous of which involved the killing of several law enforcement officers led by the drug gang of Joaquin Guzman Loera, also known as El Chapo or Shorty. The situation has become so serious that federal law enforcers and even the Mexican Army have been called upon to stabilize the city.
9. Durango, Mexico – 79.88 murders per 100,000 inhabitants
Ciudad de Durango, or Victoria de Durango, is the largest city and the capital of the Mexican state that goes by the same name. it sits at an altitude of 1,890 meters. Citizens of the city have been left gasping for air not only because of the high altitude, but also because of the murders and violent crimes that have been happening in the city. Just like a lot of the other Mexican cities included in the list, drug families have been responsible for all these. Specifically, the Sinaloa cartel has been blamed for the extremely high number of violent deaths in the city.
10. Belem, Brazil – 78.04 murders per 100,000 inhabitants
Belem is the largest city and capital of the Brazilian state of Para located in the northern area of the country. It has a busy transportation sector because it serves as the entrance to the Amazon River. Gang violence is a regular occurrence, however, and tourists are advised to take precautions, especially when darkness sets in.