What is the most dangerous city in the world

The most dangerous
City of the world

Murder and manslaughter rule here: the majority of the 50 most violent cities in the world are in Latin America. The list is headed by a city that, despite the high murder rate, attracts countless tourists every year.

Mexico's Citizens' Council for Public Safety and Criminal Law, a non-profit organization, has again published a ranking of the 50 most violent cities in the world for 2019. It was determined how many homicides per 100,000 inhabitants. War zones are excluded from the report. 6 of the 10 most violent cities are in Mexico. The most violent cities outside of Latin America are St. Louis, USA, in 9th place and Cape Town, South Africa, in 8th place.

Mexico in particular is suffering from increasing violence due to the ongoing gang wars between the drug cartels. For the third time in a row, a Mexican city is the most dangerous in the world. For the second year in a row, Tijuana is the city with the highest homicide rate in the world measured by population. Mexico is also the country with the largest number of cities with a high rate of violence. However, the authors of the ranking also note that the politically tense situation makes it increasingly difficult to determine the actual number of homicides in Venezuela. Even before the government crisis there, the authorities had not published any crime statistics for years. There is only research and monthly counts by journalists or publications in newspaper reports - and even these have become increasingly rare.

Fittingly: The most wanted criminals in the world

Below are the ten most dangerous cities in the world:

10. Vitória da Conquista, Brazil

205 Homicides
341.597 Residents
Murder rate of 60,01 (per 100,000 inhabitants)

The Brazilian city is located in the state of Bahia, in the northeast of Brazil. From an economic point of view, coffee growing plays a role in Vitória da Conquista and the city has also developed into a service center. The "Southwest Bahia State University" is also headquartered here. In addition, the city is characterized by a high homicide rate. There are around 60 murders for every 100,000 inhabitants.

9. St. Louis, USA

194 Homicides
300.576 Residents
Murder rate of 64,54 (per 100,000 inhabitants)

The US city on the Mississippi looks very inviting at first glance. It is home to several renowned universities such as Washington University and is the hometown of famous jazz musicians such as Clark Terry and Miles Davis. The landmark of St. Louis, a 192-meter arch, is hard to miss. The so-called "Gateway Arch" was designed by the late architect Eero Saarinen. Despite its cultural and historical attractions, the city regularly leads the ranking of the most dangerous cities and most homicides in the USA.

While St. Louis residents report that most of the city makes them feel safe, including at night, there are certain neighborhoods with extremely high crime rates that should be avoided. This is especially true for the north of the inner city. One reason why the city is so high in the ranking results from the fact that around 2.8 million people live in the suburbs of the city or in the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area, although only homicides in the inner city are used for the statistics were. However, the fact is: the rate of violence is quite high in parts of the city.

8. Cape Town, South Africa

3.065 Homicides
4.488.545 Residents
Murder rate of 68,28 (per 100,000 inhabitants)

Cape Town with the impressive Table Mountain in the background is a popular travel destination for tourists. The metropolis is one of the largest cities in the country and has also been the seat of the South African parliament since 2014. A popular attraction near Cape Town is the former prison island Robben Island, where the South African ex-President Nelson Mandela, who died in 2013, was imprisoned. The island has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999.

In addition to the touristy, richer districts of the city, poverty and violence prevail in the townships, the city's slums. As a rule, tourists do not notice the high crime rate as long as one does not stroll through the more dangerous areas of the city at night. Nevertheless, the homicide rate is relatively high: there are around 68 murders for every 100,000 inhabitants.

You can purchase the travel guide "South Africa - Lesotho and eSwatini: with travel atlas" here. *

7. Acapulco, Mexico

600 Homicides
837.914 Residents
Murder rate of 71,61 (per 100,000 inhabitants)

Once, in the 1960s and 70s, Acapulco was considered a hotspot and holiday destination for stars and starlets. But those times are over. Located on the Pacific coast, the city beckons along the coast with great bars and restaurants. In the 1990s, the metropolis lost its luster. The crime rate soared and the city went downhill. There are now around 72 murders for every 100,000 inhabitants. Here, too, drug wars have contributed to the high number of homicides.

Still, the city's beautiful beaches and attractions still attract large numbers of tourists. According to the Austrian Foreign Ministry, certain areas of Mexico pose a high security risk, and this also applies to Acapulco: tourists should avoid remote and deserted areas such as lonely beaches or suburban areas.

6. Caracas, Venezuela

2.134 Homicides
2.858.933 Residents
Murder rate of 74,65 (per 100,000 inhabitants)

It is still very dangerous in Caracas, the capital of Venezuela. With around 75 murders per 100,000 inhabitants, it is the sixth most dangerous city in the world. Street crime in Caracas is extremely high. Organized crime, in particular, controls the poor areas. Robberies and murders are common

At the same time, Caracas also has beautiful sides to offer: The city is surrounded by a beautiful mountain landscape, the El Ávila National Park, which is known for its diverse flora and fauna.

5. Ciudad Obregón, Mexico

281 Homicides
348.154 Residents
Murder rate of 80,72 (per 100,000 inhabitants)

Ciudad Obregón is the second largest city in the Mexican state of Sonora and was named after the former Mexican President Álvaro Obregón. The city is located in the north of the country and is only around 500 kilometers away from the US border. The fertile area is characterized by agriculture and livestock farming, but trade and the so-called maquiladora also play an important economic role. The latter are assembly companies that assemble imported individual parts or semi-finished goods into finished goods that are then exported.

Since 2019, the city has also been on the list of the most dangerous cities in the world due to organized crime. Once again, drug wars are to blame for the steep rise in homicides.

4. Irapuato, Mexico

723 Homicides
895.515 Residents
Murder rate of 80,74 (per 100,000 inhabitants)

Irapuato means "swampy place" in the indigenous language and is located in the interior of the country. The city is known as a commercial and industrial center and not a typical tourist destination. The region is famous nationwide for its strawberry cultivation. The strawberry color can also be found on some of Irapuato's buildings.

The city's largest market is located at Plaza del Comercio Popular. The cathedral of Irapuato is also worth seeing. Apart from that, the city is one of the newcomers to the ranking of the most dangerous cities. The city has been the scene of gang battles over the gasoline pipeline in the area. Time and again, fuel has been tapped illegally there on a large scale.

The travel guide "Mexico" from Lonely Planet can be found here. *

3. Uruapan, Mexico

301 Homicides
351.823 Residents
Murder rate of 85,54 (per 100,000 inhabitants)

Uruapan is one of the oldest cities in Mexico and is located in the state of Michoacán. The city is located at around 1,650 meters above sea level and is surrounded by mountain ranges up to 3,800 meters high and the Barranca del Cupatitzio National Park. Sufficient rain and fertile soil make the land around the city an agricultural area, for example one of the most important avocado-growing areas in the country. Appropriately, the word "uruapan" means "place where the trees always bear fruit" in the indigenous language. The idyllic landscape is one side, the high rate of violence in the 350,000-inhabitant city is the other. Because time and again the city gets caught between the fronts of drug cartels. In 2019, 301 people were violently killed.

2. Juarez, Mexico

1.522 Homicides
1.455.923 Residents
Murder rate of 104,54 (per 100,000 inhabitants)

The foothills of the city of Juárez, which has almost 1.5 million inhabitants, form a colorful collection of houses and huts. The metropolis is located near the border with the USA and across from the Mexican city of El Paso. For a long time Juárez was considered the most dangerous place in the world: drug wars, murders, extortion and kidnappings were the order of the day. Juárez is one of the epicentres of the drug war that has raged in Mexico since 2007. In the meantime the city has calmed down a bit and the judicial and police systems have been reformed. But the violence remains omnipresent. 1,522 homicides in 2019 suggest the city remains one of the most dangerous in the world.

1. Tijuana, Mexico

2.367 Homicides
1.763.197 Residents
Murder rate of 134,24 (per 100,000 inhabitants)

Further north of La Paz on the California peninsula lies the infamous border town of Tijuana, which is regularly besieged by US tourists looking for sex, drugs and alcohol. Especially in spring for the traditional "spring break" (semester break), a number of US students make the pilgrimage to the city to party there. If you stroll through Tijuana, you will discover numerous bars and souvenir shops, sandy beaches complete the holiday flair.

The dark side of the border town is a high (drug) crime rate. The power struggles of the local drug lords have even been filmed by Hollywood: The film "Traffic" portrays the drug battle between the Tijuana cartel and the rival Juárez cartel. An unbelievable 134 murders were committed per 100,000 population in 2019.

The 50 most dangerous cities in the world

Source: Citizens' Council for Public Safety and Criminal Law (March 2019)

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