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Ranking of the most dangerous cities in the world in 2013, by murder rate per capita

 Rate per 100,000 inhabitants
San Pedro Sula - Honduras 187.14
Caracas - Venezuela 134.36
Acapulco - México 112.8
Cali - Colombia 83.2
Maceió - Brazil 79.76
Distrito Central - Honduras 79.42
Fortaleza - Brazil 72.81
Guatemala - Guatemala 68.4
João Pessoa - Brazil 66.92
Barquisimeto - Venezuela 64.72
Palmira - Colombia 60.86
Natal - Brazil 57.62
Salvador (y RMS) - Brazil 57.51
Vitoria - Brazil 57.39
São Luís - Brazil 57.04
Culiacán - México 54.57
Ciudad Guayana - Venezuela 54.27
Torreón - México 54.24
Kingston - Jamaica 52.83
Cape Town - South Africa 50.94
Chihuahua - México 50.12
Victoria - México 49.22
Belém - Brazil 48.23
Detroit - United States 46.99
Campina Grande - Brazil 46
New Orleans - United States 45.08
San Salvador - El Salvador 44.74
Goiânia - Brazil 44.56
Cuiabá - Brazil 43.95
Nuevo Laredo - México 42.9
Manaus - Brazil 42.53
Santa Marta - Colombia 42.44
Cúcuta - Colombia 42.22
Pereira - Colombia 39.81
Medellín - Colombia 38.06
Baltimore - United States 37.77
Juárez - México 37.59
San Juan - Puerto Rico 37.4
Recife - Brazil 36.82
Macapá - Brazil 36.59
Nelson Mandela Bay - South Africa 35.76
Maracaibo - Venezuela 35.44
Cuernavaca - México 34.91
Belo Horizonte - Brazil 34.73
ST. Louis - United States 34.14
Aracaju - Brazil 33.36
Tijuana - México 32.5
Durban - Sudáfrica 32.42
Puerto Príncipe - Haití 30.05
Valencia - Venezuela 30.04
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This statistic ranks the 50 most dangerous cities of 2013, by murder rate per 100,000 inhabitants. San Pedro Sula’s murder rate was 187.1 per capita.


The world’s most dangerous cities

The Citizens' Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice published a ranking of the world’s most dangerous cities in 2012, ranking cities according to the number of murders per 100,000 inhabitants that year. For the second year in a row, San Pedro Sula in Honduras ranked first on the list, with a murder rate of 169.3 per 100,000 inhabitants. That year, there were 1,218 homicides in San Pedro Sula, while the city had a population of 719,447 people. San Pedro Sula was followed by Acapulco in Mexico and Caracas in Venezuela with murder rates of 142.88 and 118.99 respectively.

A clear trend is visible: most of the world’s most dangerous cities were located in Central or South America. New Orleans in the United States with a murder rate of 56.13 and 193 murders committed in 2012, ranked seventeenth and was the only city outside of Central or South America to make it into the top twenty. Detroit, with a murder rate of 54.63 and 346 murders that year, came in at twenty-first place.

Violence in Central and South America is caused in great part by drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and gang wars. Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador are major shipping points for South American cocaine, which travels through Mexico to reach American consumers. Between 2007 and 2012, it is estimated that there were nearly 38,000 drug-related fatalities in Mexico alone. Though rates of gang and drug-related activities in Mexico reportedly fell from 2007 to 2012 due to a government squeeze, traffickers have gone elsewhere and violence surged in other regions.

Meanwhile, violence in Central and South America has influenced immigration from affected areas into the United States. Migration from Mexico to the U.S. is considered the largest migration flow in the world, with 11.6 million migrants in 2010.

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