Murder is more common in Latin America than any other part of the world.
That’s the most striking takeaway from a ranking of the most violent cities compiled earlier this year by Mexico’s Citizens’ Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice. The ranking doesn’t count deaths in war zones or cities with unavailable data.
Thirty four of the fifty worst cities were located in the region, including repeat murder capital of the world — San Pedro Sula, Honurusa — which saw 187 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants in 2013 and is getting steadily worse. A full o
ne-third of global homicides occur in Latin America even though the region has just 8% of the world’s population, according to United Nations data.
Drug trafficking, gang wars, political instability, corruption, and poverty combine to cause the region’s elevated violence.
US cities also made the list, led by Detroit at number 24 and New Orleans at number 26.
Battle tanks of the Venezuelan Army take part in a military parade to celebrate the 188th anniversary of the Battle of Carabobo in Valencia, Venezuela June 24, 2009.
Police and riot squads advance on World Cup security stewards from Moses Mabhida World Cup stadium as they protest against low wages hours after the Australia Germany match during the World Cup in Durban, South Africa in 2010.
A Mexican soldier stands guard as others inspect a vehicle at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Tijuana Jan. 6, 2007.
Prisoners stand on the roof of the Advogado Antonio Jacinto Filho state prison, in Aracaju, Brazil, Monday April 16, 2012.
Police gather outside a store where two men who were involved in a shooting were found by police, in Wellston, Missouri Oct. 27, 2011.
Riot police secure the area during a protest on the streets of Belo Horizonte June 26, 2013.
A van driven by former soccer Mexico defender Ignacio Flores sits riddled with bullets on a roadside in Cuernavaca, Mexico, Wednesday Aug. 10, 2011.
Venezuelan anti-bomb squadron officers inspect the debris of a house after a suspect car bomb exploded in Maracaibo, Venezuela, March 2, 2003.
South African police officers stand guard outside of the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Saturday, June 12, 2010.
Security officers surround the coffin carrying yachting legend Peter Blake of New Zealand, who was killed by pirates, prior to being loaded on a Brazilian Air Force plane in Macapa, in the Amazonian state of Amapa, late Dec. 9, 2001.
A policeman arrests a man for vandalism during a protest against the Confederations Cup and the government of Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff in Recife City June 20, 2013.
U.S. Army Specialist Michael Montijo joins Puerto Rico Police Department officers on an early morning patrol July 23, 2004 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
A police officer walks near women observing the crime scene where a police officer was killed in downtown Ciudad Juarez August 8, 2013.
One of a motorcade of vehicles transporting and escorting two sniper suspects enters the U.S. Courthouse for an arraignment hearing Oct. 24, 2002 in Baltimore, Maryland.
Riot policemen fire their weapons during a protest at the entrance of the University of Antioquia in Medellin, Aug. 28, 2013.
Pedro Pablo Montoya (C), rebel of the FARC known as 'Rojas,' is escorted by soldiers after a news conference at a military base in Pereira March 8, 2008.
Demonstrators run from tear gas during a protest at the border of Colombia and Venezuela near Cucuta, Colombia, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2009.
Colombian police seize tons of cocaine every year.
Brazil's police show arms, munitions and money allegedly confiscated from the home of legislator and television show host Wallace Souza during a press conference in Manaus, Brazil. in 2008
A Mexican Federal Police (PFP) officer passes another officer holding a newspaper with the headline 'ex-police!' over pictures from a recent murder in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2006.
Brazilian soldiers stand guard near where the South Korean team was attending a training session at the stadium of the Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso in Cuiaba, June 15, 2014.
An aerial view of Goiânia, Brazil at night.
Horse cops on the streets of New Orleans at night.
Detroit Police officers remove the crime tape from the scene of a brutal murder of a mother and four children, April 1, 2004 in Detroit, Michigan.
Soldiers prepare to travel to different towns ahead of Brazil's presidential election runoff, at the Pratinha neighbourhood in Belem, Brazil, Friday, Oct. 29, 2010.
A federal policeman stands guard as residents wait in line to cast their vote at a polling station in Ciudad Victoria, in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, July 4, 2010.
Human rights activists hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Mexican Attorney General's Office in Mexico City, Sunday Jan. 16, 2011.
A private security guard stands outside of an ATM machine in downtown Cape Town, June 9, 2010.
A Jamaican police officer searches overhead buildings near the Tivoli Gardens area of Kingston, Jamaica May 26, 2010.
Ambulances are parked outside of the 'Your Life on the Rock' drug rehabilitation center after gunmen opened fire with automatic rifles inside the center killing and injuring several people in Torreon, Mexico, Sunday, June 3, 2012.
A woman walks by a mural that reads in Spanish 'Wave of violence and blood' in Culiacan, the capital city of Mexico's Sinaola state, Thursday, May 15, 2008.
Amazon Indians talk to police at the entrance to the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam construction site, as they continued their occupation of the area in Vitoria do Xingu, near Altamira in Para State, May 5, 2013.
A Brazilian drug gang member nicknamed Poison, 18, poses with a gun atop a hill overlooking a slum in Salvador, Bahia State, April 11, 2013.
A soldier stands outside at the Maria Lamas Farache-Frasqueirao stadium before the Mexico's national soccer team's training session in Natal, June 14, 2014.
A Colombian soldier organise packs of confiscated cocaine in a laboratory near Palmira, Valle del Cauca province August 20, 2004.
Venezuelan police officers stand guard outside the morgue where the bodies of prisoners killed in a riot were taken in Barquisimeto,Venezuela, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013.
The body of a man lies covered on a pavement after being killed during a shootout at the El Guarda market in Guatemala city Sept. 8, 2011.
Riot policemen face off with demonstrators near a burnt vehicle during a protest near the Estadio Castelao, where the Confederations Cup semi-final match between Spain and Italy is being played, in Fortaleza June 27, 2013.
A Honduran police officer guards an injured prisoner, standing inside a cell at the Hospital Escuela.
Brazil's drug lord Luiz Fernando Costa, also know as 'Fernandinho Beira Mar' (Freddy Seashore), arrives at Federal Police Headquarter in Brasilia March 24, 2006.
Colombian special investigators carry the body of a car bomb victim in Cali city Sept. 1, 2008.
A body lies in the street in Acapulco, Mexico.
In this May 15, 2013 photo, National Guard soldiers frisk a man at a checkpoint as part of the 'Secure Homeland' initiative in Petare, one of the most dangerous neighborhoods of Caracas, Venezuela.
Police fire tear gas to break up a protest in San Pedro Sula, Honduras November 29, 2009. Honduras chooses a new president on Sunday but neither ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya nor arch-rival and de facto leader Roberto Micheletti are running in the election, which could give a new president the chance to take Honduras beyond the political gridlock that has divided the Central American nation and cut off international aid.
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