Honduras City Now World's Most Violent

San Pedro Sula becomes murder capital

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 11, 2012 2:51 AM CDT | Updated Oct 11, 2012 4:33 AM CDT

(Newser) – A surge in drug-related violence has made San Pedro Sula in Honduras the murder capital of the world. Some 1,143 of its 719,447 residents were murdered in 2011, giving it a murder rate of 159 people per 100,000 citizens—even higher than Mexico's Ciudad Juarez, which is now rated the second most violent city in the world after three years of ranking highest, the New York Daily News reports. The murder rate in Honduras as a whole is the highest in the world and is around 20 times that of the US.

According to statistics compiled by the Citizen Council for Public Safety and Criminal Justice, a Mexican think-tank, 40 of the world's most dangerous cities are in Latin America, with 14 in Brazil and 12 in Mexico. Outside the region, New Orleans has the highest murder rate, coming 21st on the list with a murder rate of 57.88 per 100,000. The other American cities on the list are Detroit, St. Louis, and Baltimore, which were ranked 30th, 43rd, and 48th.

Inmates gather outside their cells in San Pedro Sula Central Corrections Facility in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.
Inmates gather outside their cells in San Pedro Sula Central Corrections Facility in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.   (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
The relatives of a murdered public transport driver grieve at the crime scene where he was shot dead in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.
The relatives of a murdered public transport driver grieve at the crime scene where he was shot dead in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.   (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
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