The World’s 50 Most Violent Cities


20 of the world’s most violent cities are in Latin America according to a table released by a Mexican think tank – the Citizens’ Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice.

Of the world’s 50 most violent cities, 45 are in the Americas. The rest of the dangerous cities were located in Africa and the Middle East. None of the top 50 was in Europe despite its current economic and social problems. The table certainly doesn’t make good reading for Brazil, 14 of their cities have made the list. The United States received some disturbing scores with three of their cities named.

However, it is important to remember that the results are based entirely on murder rate per capita in 2011. Other crimes have not been taken into account. It is also worth noting that almost all of these cities have drug related gang problems. This inter gang violence is the source of the vast majority of the murders on the table.

Here is the top 50

50. Johannesburg, South Africa

49. Durban, South Africa

48. Baltimore, United States

47. Cuernavaca (metropolitan area)

46. Panama, Panama

45. Belo Horizonte, Brazil

44. Mosul, Iraq

43. St. Louis, United States

42. Barranquilla, Colombia

41. Port Elizabeth, South Africa

40. Goiânia, Brazil

39. Curitiba, Brazil

38. Monterrey, Mexico

37. Fortaleza, Brazil

36. Macapá, Brazil

35. Pereira, Colombia

34. Cape Town, South Africa

33. Kingston (metropolitan area), Jamaica

32. Recife, Brazil

31. Cuiabá, Brazil

30. Detroit, United States

29. João Pessoa, Brazil

28. Nuevo Laredo, Mexico

27. São Luís, Brazil

26. Manaus, Brazil

25. San Juan, Puerto Rico

24. Barquisimeto, Venezuela

23. Cúcuta, Colombia

22. Salvador (and RMS), Brazil

21. New Orleans, United States

20. San Salvador, El Salvador

19. Ciudad Guayana, Venezuela

18. Veracruz, Mexico

17. Vitoria, Brazil

16. Tepic (metropolitan area), Mexico

15. Mazatlán, Mexico

14. Medellín, Colombia

13. Culiacán, Mexico

12. Guatemala, Guatemala

11. Cali, Colombia

10. Belém, Brazil

9. Durango, Mexico

8. Chihuahua, Mexico

7. Torreón (metropolitan area), Mexico

6. Caracas, Venezuela

5. Distrito Central, Honduras

4. Acapulco, Mexico

3. Maceió, Brazil

2. Juárez, Mexico

1. San Pedro Sula, Honduras


About Author

Denis Foynes

Denis Foynes was born in New York City to Irish parents in 1991. When he was 8, his family returned to Celtic Tiger Ireland. Denis has an International Politics degree from Aberystwyth University in Wales. After completing university, he decided to leave crisis Ireland and relocate to Panama.