Most of the World’s Most Dangerous Cities are in Latin America: Report

Latin America is in bad shape when it comes to the world’s most murderous cities.

According to a recent report, Latin American cities claim 43 of 50 top spots for the highest homicide rates in 2014. The world’s most dangerous cities were chosen based on the number of murders per capita, but the high number of fallen bodies also addresses a distinct abundance of drug cartels, wildfire corruption, traffickers, heavily armed factions and street gangs.

The Mexican nongovernmental Citizens Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice compiled the list, which includes four U.S. cities — St. Louis (19); Detroit (22); New Orleans (28); Baltimore (40) — and features San Pedro Sula, Honduras position at No. 1. That’s directly followed by Caracas, Venezuela; Acapulo, Mexico; João Pessoa, Brazil; Distrito Central, Honduras; Maceió, Brazil; Valencia, Venezuela; Fortaleza, Brazil; Cali, Colombia; São Luís, Brazil; Natal, Brazil; Ciudad Guayana, Venezuela; and San Salvador, El Salvador.

In this particular report, San Pedro Sula takes the cake, ranking as the most murderous city in the world, but the United Nations has made conflicting statements, naming Honduras as the planet’s most homicidal nation. Also, murders have been escalating in Venezuela, as political hostility, vocal opposition, corruption and economic slowdown becomes a pressing factor in the country. That’s in addition to Colombia pushing drugs through Venezuela, in order to pipe drugs into America.

 of criminal violence in the world,” Angela Me, the chief of research at the UNODC, said to the Wall Street Journal in early 2014. “Yet parts of the region, like Chile and Argentina, have far lower homicide rates. The problem really is northern South America and Central America,” including Mexico.

Brazil, in particular, has a distinct claim on violence, as 19 of the cities featured on the list are located in Brazil. More than 50,000 are murdered on annual bases as slums bicker over territory; gangs dominate entire domains; and ruthless militia challenge gangs. Such is the case in other Latin American cities. Ten of deadliest cities are in Mexico, four are in Venezuela, and two are in Honduras, as well as one in Salvador and Guatemala. Also, there are three cities in South Africa and one city in the island nation of Jamaica.

The compilation solely featured cities with 300,000-plus residents, and it relied on the government’s count of homicide from the past year, mainly from police records. That said, many governments fudge the numbers when it comes to murders, and researchers often have to turn to the morgue and media records in order to unearth honest and accurate figures. This is particularly case in Iraqi cities, cities in Venezuela and other war-ravaged zones that have high murder rates. The incentive to hide away true crime rates is associated with organized criminals functioning with impunity, corrupt police and rampant gun use.

Beyond all else, limiting violence is a matter of dealing with alcoholism, the violent actions of young people and thoroughbred violence. According to World Bank and expert epidemiologist Andrés Villaveces, alcohol restriction is more effective in reducing homicides than firearm restrictions: In some cities, a two-hour reduction in access to alcohol has led to 25 percent fewer homicides. Also, young people, particularly men, commit more violent acts and are also the main victims of violence. The earlier communities intervene and encourage educational excellence and employment, the better the outcome. Lives saved would be the greatest result, but focusing attention on youth is also the key to ending severe economic difficulties, poverty and the cascading effects of violence.


–Courtesy of Latin Post

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