The 50 Most Deadly Cities in the World

A toxic combination of organized crime, drug trafficking, internecine gang wars, government corruption, and desperate poverty have merged to form the world's most brutal, murderous region: Latin America.

According to the UN via Business Insider, Latin America now boasts 28% of the world's homicides despite clocking in at only 8% of world population. The most murderous city on the entire planet, San Pedro Sula in Honduras, now has over 169 homicides per 100,000 residents. Unlike every other city in the rankings except for Distrito Central (which came in at #4), that number is based on 2011 statistics, because local authorities were unwilling to cooperate with the study, which was conducted by Mexico's Citizens' Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice.

Statistics do not include war zones or areas where the murder rate is not reported by the authorities.

More: Some U.S. Cities Have Higher Gun Violence Than ENTIRE Nations — Check This Map

Of the 50 cities on the list, 41 are in Latin America. And some U.S. cities also rank as among the most murderous metro areas in the world: five American cities made the list. They're in bold below.

Here are the rankings:

50. Barranquilla, Colombia: 29.41 homicides per 100,000 residents

49. Brasilia, Brazil: 29.73 homicides per 100,000 residents

48. Belo Horizonte, Brazil: 29.74 homicides per 100,000 residents

47. Monterrey, Mexico: 30.85 homicides per 100,000 residents

46. Durban, South Africa: 30.94 homicides per 100,000 residents

45. Macapá, Brazil: 32.06 homicides per 100,000 residents

44. San Salvador, El Salvador: 32.48 homicides per 100,000 residents

43. Oakland, United States: 33.10 homicides per 100,000 residents

42. Curitiba, Brazil: 34.08 homicides per 100,000 residents

41. Baltimore, United States: 35.03 homicides per 100,000 residents

40. St. Louis, United States: 35.39 homicides per 100,000 residents

39. Maracaibo, Venezuela: 35.44 homicides per 100,000 residents

38. Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa: 36.02 homicides per 100,000 residents

37. Pereira, Colombia: 36.13 homicides per 100,000 residents

36. Victoria, Mexico: 37.78 homicides per 100,000 residents

35. Port-Au-Prince, Haiti: 40.10 homicides per 100,000 residents

34. Goiânia, Brazil: 42.01 homicides per 100,000 residents

33. San Juan, Puerto Rico: 43.25 homicides per 100,000 residents

32. Chihuahua, Mexico: 43.49 homicides per 100,000 residents

31. Valencia, Venezuela: 43.87 homicides per 100,000 residents

30. Recife, Brazil: 44.54 homicides per 100,000 residents

29. Santa Marta, Colombia: 45.26 homicides per 100,000 residents

28. Cuiabá, Brazil: 45.28 homicides per 100,000 residents

27. Cape Town, South Africa: 46.04 homicides per 100,000 residents

26. Belém, Brazil: 48.23 homicides per 100,000 residents

25. Kingston, Jamaica: 48.48 homicides per 100,000 residents

24. Medellin, Colombia: 49.10 homicides per 100,000 residents

23. Sao Luis, Brazil: 50.16 homicides per 100,000 residents

22. Cucuta, Colombia: 53.29 homicides per 100,000 residents

21. Detroit, United States: 54.63 homicides per 100,000 residents

20. Ciudad Guayana, Venezuela: 55.03 homicides per 100,000 residents

19. Juarez, Mexico: 55.91 homicides per 100,000 residents

18. Cuernavaca, Mexico: 56.08 homicides per 100,000 residents

17. New Orleans, United States: 56.13 homicides per 100,000 residents

16. Vitoria, Brazil: 60.40 homicides per 100,000 residents

15. Culiacán, Mexico: 62.06 homicides per 100,000 residents

14. Salvador (and RMS), Brazil: 65.64 homicides per 100,000 residents

13. Fortaleza, Brazil: 66.39 homicides per 100,000 residents

12. Guatemala, Guatemala: 67.36 homicides per 100,000 residents

11. Manaus, Brazil: 70.37 homicides per 100,000 residents

10. João Pessoa, Brazil: 71.59 homicides per 100,000 residents

9. Barquisimeto, Venezuela: 71.74 homicides per 100,000 residents

8. Nuevo Laredo, Mexico: 72.85 homicides per 100,000 residents

7. Cali, Colombia: 79.27 homicides per 100,000 residents

6. Maceió, Brazil: 85.88 homicides per 100,000 residents

5. Torreón, Mexico: 94.72 homicides per 100,000 residents

4. Distrito Central, Honduras: 101.99 homicides per 100,000 residents

3. Caracas, Venezuela: 118.89 homicides per 100,000 residents

2. Acapulco, Mexico: 142.88 homicides per 100,000 residents

1. San Pedro Sula, Honduras: 169.30 homicides per 100,000 residents

(Update: This story previously cited Business Insider as the source of a statistic that Latin America commits 40% of reported world homicides. That statistic was from several years ago and the story has been updated accordingly.)

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Tom McKay

Tom is a staff writer at Mic, covering national politics, media, policing and the war on drugs. He is based in New York and can be reached at tmckay@mic.com.

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