Your mother will probably still certainly be happy about you going on holiday to North America, and probably to South America too. But just ponder about visiting countries in Africa or the Middle East, and she is likely to go absolutely bonkers and threaten to remove you from her will. As if that would matter much, should the worst come to worst.
Brazil is by far the worst, with almost half the cities on the list. But let’s look a little bit closer on the list published by Business Insider
. Ten countries appear on it, 9 of which are in the Americas. The only other country present is South Africa with four cities. Do note that countries at war are not present, which explains the absence of i.e. Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen.
1. Brazil: 21 cities
45.29 homices per 100,000 people, on average
No surprise, perhaps. The economy is in shambles and the country has a long tradition for violent gangs and shady favelas. Many homicides are related to robberies
, there are a lot of kidnappings and gangs and gang violence is widespread. It may be more surprising that killings by police officers
are now the second cause of violent death in the country. It totally makes sense to award the country the Football World Cup and the Olympic Games.
2. Venezuela: 8 cities
64.08 homicides per 100,000 people, on average
The economy is down the drains following low oil prices. Throw in its importance as a transit country for drug, and you sort of get the picture. Most homicides are caused by firearms
, most victims are men and most die nearby their home – typically in the poor and rough favelas.
3. Mexico: 5 cities
51.74 homices per 100,000 people, on average
This is one of the most important drug suppliers in the world, and even more so now when Mexican drug cartels have increased power over “colleagues” in South America
. The government’s war on drugs has increased violence, and widespread corruption in police and local governments will see this continue for a long time. Of course, most of this is due to the huge and important market just north of its border.
4. USA: 4 cities
49.89 homicides per 100,000 people, on average
You wouldn’t expect to see the US here, would you? Then again, this is the only country where the number of guns exceed the number of people. That may explain why two thirds of homicides
here are coducted using a firearm. And the 320 million people here make it a major market for drugs from Mexico in the south.
5. South Africa: 4 cities
41.91 homicides per 100,000 people, on average
6. Colombia: 3 cities
55.91 homicides per 100,000, on average
7. Honduras: 2 cities
92.27 homicides per 100,000 people, on average
Its location is partly to blame, as with several of the other countries in Central America. It sits between the drug in South America and the buyers of it in the US. Neighbouring Guatemala and Mexico are also on this list, neither are exactly known to be peaceful havens. A lot of the violence is committed by the notorious gangs that operate here and that use violence to show off their power
8. El Salvador
108.54 homicides per 100,000 people in the one city on the list
Holding the dubious title as the most violent country in the western hemisphere says it all. 6,640 murders in 2015 is not much to brag about. And security forces are surprisingly involved
in most human rights abuse complaints.
47.17 homicides per 100,000 people in the one city on the list
Guatemala City is known for fierce criminal cartels with too much power. It doesn’t help that the country is in the middle of the drug supply route from South America to the US either. Add human and drug trafficking, and there is a lot of bad news. Unfortunately very few of murders, below 5%, end up in convictions
41.14 homicides per 100,000 people in the one city on the list
Kingston has “always” had a reputation for being rather rough. And, as usual, gangs and drugs
are to blame.