Friday, January 13, 2012

Five of the World's Deadliest Cities Are in Mexico

According to the Citizen Council for Public Safety and Criminal Justice, a Mexican NGO, five of the world’s 10 deadliest cities in 2011, are in Mexico, though San Pedro Sula, Honduras' second largest city, leads the list.

Formed in 2002, the Council, compiled its list of the globe’s 50 most violent cities by comparing every city with more than 300,000 residents for which homicide statistics are available.

San Pedro Sula tops the list with 159 murders per 100,000 inhabitants. Mexico’s Ciudad Juarez, which led the list for three consecutive years, dropped to second last year with a tally of 148 homicides for every 100,000 residents.

The other Mexican cities finishing in the top 10 for 2011 are: Acapulco, 128 murders per 100,000 people; Torreon, 88; Chihuahua, 83; and Durango, with 80 homicides per 100,000 residents.

Forty of the 50 most dangerous cities are in Latin America, including 14 in Brazil and a dozen in Mexico. Two Mexican cities – Monterrey and Veracruz – made the list for the first time in 2011, while Tijuana, Reynosa and Matamoros dropped out of the top 50.

COMMENT: As with most crime statistics, actual crime is generally unreported, particularly in Mexico, where confidence in the police system is very low. Consequently, it is entirely possible that homicides per 100,000 population may be much higher.

Mexico’s government said Thursday that 12,903 people were killed in drug-related violence between January and September 2011 in Mexico, increasing 11% from the same period of 2010 and bringing the drug war death toll since December 2006 to 47,515.

Although these statistics for homicide in Latin America are very sobering, for the benefit of our readers, a very small percentage of this killed have been expatriates or foreign travelers. Nevertheless, EVERY life is precious; it is a sad commentary that global societies have been reduced to such carnage.

It should also be noted that although there is a high degree of violence in the cities described in the Council's report, in the cases of Mexico, Brazil and Honduras, there remain countless places in these countries that are safe from violence and which can be enjoyed to the fullest.

It is my hope in the coming year to focus on many of the reasonably safe areas in the world where our readers can enjoy life to the fullest without feeling threatened.

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