Caracas tops the list of the world’s 50 most dangerous cities
CARACAS – The Venezuelan capital Caracas has achieved the dubious distinction of becoming the most dangerous city in the world after toppling the Honduran city of San Pedro Sula, which held the top spot for four consecutive years.
San Pedro Sula remained a close contender in second place, after a decrease in its homicide rate, while El Salvador’s capital city of San Salvador placed third.
The ranking of the world’s top 50 most dangerous cities, published annually by the Mexico Citizens Council for Public Security, is dominated by 41 cities from Latin America, including 21 from Brazil, which is scheduled to host the Olympics Games this summer.
The ranking is based on the number of murders per 100,000 inhabitants.
Jamaica’s capital Kingston placed thirty-third with 41.14 murders per 100,000 people.
In the United States, St Louis, Baltimore, Detroit and New Orleans took the 15th, 19th, 28th and 32nd spots, while South Africa’s Cape Town, Durban, Nelson Mandela Bay and Johannesburg ranked 9th, 41st, 42nd and 47th on the list.
The council’s ranking contains cities with populations of more than 300,000 and does not count deaths in combat zones or cities with unavailable data, so some dangerous cities may not be represented on the list.
Most of the elevated violence is thought to be due to drug trafficking supplemented with gang wars, political instability, and the deregulation of economies triggering widespread poverty, according to Business Insider.
“Narcotics are the biggest black market earner of all. Estimated to be worth more than three hundred billion dollars a year, the global industry has pumped huge resources into criminal empires decade after decade,” wrote Ioan Grillo the author of “Gangster Warlords: Drug Dollars, Killing Fields, and the New Politics of Latin America.”
“So that amount of money, $100 billion a year, 10 years, a trillion dollars, 30 years, $3 trillion. That amount of money pumps in these organizations … buying more guns, paying more assassins, bribing more police, bribing more politicians … and that is why the region right now, Latin American and the Caribbean, are at a boiling point,” Grillo told Business Insider.