Rapid urban development in cities often results in widening of gap between the rich and poor. A disparity in income and living conditions leads to social tension and crime, where the poor fight for daily survival. Organized gangs can emerge quickly and begin competing for control of crime. Violent clashes between gang members are frequent, leading to a significant rise in homicide cases.
- City: Los Cabos
Homicide rate per 100,000: 111.33
Los Cabos is a popular tourist destination located on the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula in Mexico. Construction of the Trans peninsular Highway and airport in the 70s opened up the flow of investment in tourism in this once isolated area. In the early 90s, around 40,000 people lived in Los Cabos, today, it’s a busting place of over 300,000. The city has the dubious distinction of being ranked the most dangerous city in the world with the highest homicide rate per hundred thousand. Organized gangs fighting for territorial control of the highly profitable drug trade threatens the tourism industry which brings in the much-needed money into the city.
- City: Caracas
Homicide rate per 100,000: 111.19
The lovely capital of Venezuela is now the second most dangerous city in the world. The country is undergoing an economic crisis with people facing severe shortages of essential commodities. Prices have skyrocketed, and people are scavenging for food. Smuggling of daily essentials is thriving along the border with Columbia and Caracas is witnessing a significant rise in homicides as people fight for survival.
- City: Acapulco
Homicide rate per 100,000: 106.63
Acapulco, the beach city on the Southwest coast of Mexico, was once the most sought after getaway destination for Hollywood stars. Today, it is better known as the ‘murder capital’ of Mexico. Drug wars have overtaken what was once a prosperous and pleasant tourist industry. Violent crime is pushing away lucrative tourists to other destinations. Rising unemployment is pushing many towards crime for survival.
- City: Natal
Homicide rate per 100,000: 102.56
Natal is a lovely beach city on the Northeastern coast of Brazil. In 1970, the population in Natal was around 260,000, by 2018 the number is estimated to be close to 1.5 million in the Greater Natal area. The city attracted big investments in tourism and grew as a popular holiday destination. The rapid development has widened the gap between rich and poor, where excellent hotels and upmarket housing coexist with a large number of people living under terrible conditions in shanties. As in other cities in South America with high tourist inflows, drug wars have triggered a chain of violent crimes and threatened to impact the tourist inflow.
- City: Tijuana
Homicide rate per 100,000: 100.77
Tijuana, is the largest city in the state of Baja Norte in Mexico, sharing a 15 mile (24 kms) international border with its sister city, San Diego, California. It’s a modern city which sees over 50 million people crossing the border in a two-way flow. The proximity to the US border has made Tijuana a major transit point for drug flow into the US. Organized crime has risen sharply in the last two decades with drug cartels fighting for control of the illegal trade. Murders, rapes and revenge killings are frequent, and unemployment is high among the 1.6 million people living there.
- City: La Paz
Homicide rate per 100,000: 84.79
Over 900,000 people live in La Paz making it the third most populous city in Bolivia. For several decades tin has been the major revenue earner for Bolivia along with coca cultivation. In recent years, political violence, violent carjacking, and armed theft have resulted in high homicide rates. The city is host to a large section of unemployed youth who take to crime at an early age. Drug-related violence is lesser than in other South American cities, but the overall high incidence of homicides places La Paz sixth on the most dangerous cities list.
- City: Fortaleza
Homicide rate per 100,000: 83.48
Fortaleza is Brazil’s fifth most populous city with over 2.6 million residents in the metropolitan area. The beach city is prosperous and a popular destination for tourists. The city faces high incidences of homicide, mostly outcomes of drug-related violence for territorial control. Other crimes like theft and muggings have also increased in the city.
- City: Ciudad Victoria
Homicide rate per 100,000: 83.32
Ciudad Victoria is the capital city of Tamaulipas state in Mexico with a population of around 350,000. The city has been rocked by drug related violence leaving scores of people dead each year. In July 2016, the Northeast Cartel, one of the dominating drug gangs, launched a series of signature killings in a single day in July, including eleven members of a single family. The cycle of violence continues to bleed the city.
- City: Ciudad Guayana
Homicide rate per 100,000: 80.28
Venezuela continues to suffer due to mismanagement by the government. Over dependency on oil exports, overspending and excessive reliance on imports, currency and price controls, and corruption, have all contributed to the neverending cycle of shortages in Venezuela. Ciudad Guayana is witnessing its share of violent crime and is now ranked ninth as the most dangerous city in the world. With people starved of food and daily essentials, looting is common place across Venezuela, and Ciudad Guayana is no exception.
- City: Belem
Homicide rate per 100,000: 71.38
The largest city in the state of Para in Brazil is home to over 2.6 million residents in the metropolitan area. The city has a high urban population and has a skewed ratio between rich and poor. The fall out is the high incidence of violent crime in the city. Fights are common among gang members along with looting, mugging, rape, and homicides is on the rise.
Here is a table showing the ranking of the 10 most dangerous cities in the world.
|Rank||City||Country||Homicide Rate per 100,000|
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