Before planning your next vacation, it might be worth doing a little research about the cities you plan to visit – especially if the directions cover locations in Mexico and South America, where the top 10 the most dangerous places in the world. According to a report by the Citizens’ Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice, these cities have the highest murder rates per capita. If you are planning to visit one of these cities, it is advisable to be careful, or even avoid them. These are the top 10 most dangerous cities in the world.
10. Ciudad Bolivar – Venezuela
Cuidad Bolívar gets a lot of press, but not much positive publicity. In the most deprived area of the city – referred to as one of the world’s largest slums – drugs, gangs and violence are rampant. Crime is booming in the city, located on the Orinoco River, with 69 homicides per 100,000 people. In 2018, that amounted to 264 murders out of a population of 382,095 people.
9. Fortaleza – Brazil
There are also 69 homicides per 100,000 people in Fortaleza, which is notorious for its pristine white beaches and proximity to wildly popular tourist attractions such as Jericoacoara Beach and Lençóis Maranhenses National Park. But the beauty of Fortaleza is overshadowed by the murder rate (2,724 in 2018), so being aware of personal safety is paramount when visiting.
8. Natal – Brazil
The city is known for its high rates of all crime, including theft, physical and sexual assault and carjacking – but the murder rate is what puts Natal in the top 10 of the list. With 75 homicides per 100,000 people, the city remains a popular tourist destination due to the beautiful nature surrounding the border. The reasons for the high crime and murder rates are believed to be poverty and violence between inmates and gangs.
7. Ciudad Guayana – Venezuela
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Violent crime and murder are a common problem in Venezuela, and the city of Ciudad Guayana is no exception. Visitors are warned to use extreme caution when exploring the city, as crimes such as rape and murder are very common. The murder rate of a million inhabitants is 78 in 100,000, which is largely due to economic problems and organized gangs.
6. Irapuato – Mexico
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Irapuato, a medium-sized Mexican city (population less than 400,000), has seen the recent escalation of Mexican security issues with a murder rate of 81 in 100,000, stemming primarily from the wars between the new-generation Jalisco cartel and the Santa drug cartel. Rosa de Lima, aggravated. The videos released by the latter have promised to remove outsiders from the area and have shown mass shootings in bars as well as men with assault rifles. The local police declared two years ago that they would no longer tackle organized crime and that they would leave it in the hands of the federal government, thus preventing a frontal response to the violent crime associated with the cartels.
5. Ciudad Juarez – Mexico
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Cuidad Juárez is widely known as a city to avoid. It once served the residents of El Paso, Texas, which shares the same border, with nightclubs and boisterous musical entertainment, but tourism has since thinned out due to high crime rates. There are 86 homicides per 100,000 people, and the city is also known as the worst city for women in Mexico. While US residents are not specifically targeted by the violence, travelers are reminded to be vigilant in the event of theft, carjacking, theft, burglary and murder.
4. Ciudad Victoria – Mexico
With 86 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants, Cuidad Victoria is one of the most dangerous cities in the world. Many of those murders are the result of shootings between rival drug cartels, as well as criminal groups clashing with the city’s police and military. Violence is even evident in prisons, where shootings, smuggled weapons, riots and escapes are known.
3. Caracas – Venezuela
In 2017, Caracas was named the most dangerous capital in the world and still ranks in the top three most criminal cities on the planet with 100 murders out of 100,000 people. Many residents of the city – and Venezuela in general – have been forced into a life of crime to support poor and often starving families.
2. Acapulco – Mexico
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Once a playground for the Hollywood set, there’s more than a drug war going on on the streets of Acapulco. In the hilly neighborhoods, where tourists don’t tend to wander, gangs like 221 or Los Locos include racketeers, kidnappers, car thieves, murderers, and murderers. The result is 111 homicides per 100,000 people, and the destruction of a once thriving tourist industry. While not directly tied to the cartel (the main drug cartel in Acapulco split years ago), the number of gangs in the area involved in wars and other violence is just as concerning and terrifying to residents and tourists alike. Some poorer entrepreneurs, unable to afford comprehensive security systems, have resorted to paying for protection.
1. Tijuana – Mexico
Named for the most dangerous city in the world with 138 murders per 100,000 inhabitants (about seven murders a day), Tijuana is known for its violent crime and poverty. Not long ago, it was a party spot for American college students during spring break, until the seedy underbelly of crime surfaced. Most of the violence comes from human and drug trafficking (largely crystal meth), each run by different gangs, as well as a rivalry between the Sinaloa Cartel (El Chapo) and the Tijuana Cartel.