A Mexican NGO called the Consejo Ciudadano para la Seguridad Pública y Justicia Penal, A.C. (Citizen Council for Public Security and Penal Justice), whose president is Jose Antonio Ortega Sanchez, released a list of the world’s 50 cities with the highest homicide rates in 2017.
In order to be on the list, the city must have at least 300,000 inhabitants. The ranking is based on homicide rates calculated per 100,000 inhabitants. (Cities in war zones are not included in the ranking.)
Of the 50 most murderous cities, 42 were in Latin America and 47 (all but three) were in the Western Hemisphere.
The country with the most cities on the Top Fifty list was Brazil, with 17 cities.
Mexico was in second place with twelve cities. Plus, half the Top Ten cities were in Mexico.
In third place was Venezuela, with five cities on the most murderous cities list.
The United States was in fourth place, with five cities on the list, including one in Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory in the Caribbean.
South Africa, the only country on the list not in the Western Hemisphere, had three cities.
Colombia also had three cities on the list.
Honduras had two cities on the list.
El Salvador, Guatemala and Jamaica each had one city on the list.
Los Cabos, located on the tip of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula, entered the Fifty Most Murderous Cities list for the very first time and went straight to the top, to be the world’s most murderous city. There were 365 murders in Los Cabos (one for each day of the year), among a population of only 328,245, making for a murder rate of 111.33 per 100,000.
Caracas, Venezuela was the second-most murderous city on the planet, with 3,387 murders in a population of 3,046,104, which was a murder rate of 111.19 out of 100,000.
Acapulco, Mexico was #3 with a rate of 106.63.
Natal, Brazil was #4 with a rate of 102.56.
Two Mexican cities were in fifth and sixth place: Tijuana at #5 with a rate of 100.77, and La Paz at #6 with a rate of 84.79.
Fortaleza, Brazil was #7 with a rate of 83.48.
Ciudad Victoria, Mexico was #8 with a rate of 83.32 murders per 100,000 inhabitants.
A city in Venezuela called Guayana (not to be confused with the country Guyana) was #9 with a murder rate of 80.28
Rounding out the Top Ten Most Murderous Cities list was Belem, Brazil, with a rate of 71.38.
As for Mexico, it had 12 cities on the list, in contrast to only 8 cities last year.
The Mexican Cities:
- Los Cabos, at the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula, which has never been on the list before and went straight to #1.
– Acapulco (on the Pacific Coast), at #3 on the list. Its murder rate of 106.63 was, however, a decrease from that of last year, which was 113.24, when it was #2 on the most murderous cities list. So that’s progress.
- Border Town Tijuana was #5 on the list. Its 2017 rate of 100.77 was almost double its 2016 rate of 53.06.
- La Paz, on the Baja California Peninsula, was the wrold’s sixth-most murderous city.
- At #8 was Ciudad Victoria, in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas. Its murder rate of 83.32 was a slight decrease over last year’s rate of 84.67.
- Culiacan, capital of the western state of Sinaloa, was at #12, with a murder rate of 70.10. That’s actually an increase over the 2017 rate of 51.81.
- Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas, was the world’s twentieth-most murderous city with a rate of 56.16, an increase over last years rate of 43.63.
- Chihuahua City, Chihuaha, in western Mexico, was #29 with a rate of 49.48, an increase over last year’s 42.02 rate.
- At #31 was Ciudad Obregon in western Mexico, with a murder rate of 48.96, an increase over the previous year’s 40.95 rate.
- Tepic, capital of western Nayarit state, was #36 on the list.
- Reynosa, a border town across from Hidalgo, Texas, was #38.
- Mazatlan, on the west coast, was #43 with a murder rate of 39.32, a decrease over the 2017 murder rate of 48.75.
U.S. cities on the list were:
– St. Louis, Missouri, the 13th-most murderous city in the world at 65.83, an increase over the previous year’s 60.37.
– Baltimore, #21, its 55.48 rate an increase over the previous year’s 51.14.
– San Juan of Puerto Rico (a U.S. territory), at #32, had a rate of 48.70.
– New Orleans, #41, a rate of 40.10, a decrease from the previous year’s 60.37 murders per 100,000 inhabitants.
– Detroit, at #42, with a rate of 39.69, a decrease from the 44.60 of 2016.
Each of these deaths is a human tragedy. So why study such a morbid subject? The hope is that by studying these patterns, strategies to decrease the violence might be found and enacted.
To peruse the data yourself, click here.
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