Allan Wall
using.org
March 29, 2022

With all of the focus on the war in Ukraine, doesn’t it make sense to pay at least as much attention to the situation in our own neighborhood?

We have a mass influx of people entering our country through our southern border. Isn’t it therefore logical to be aware of what’s going on in the region south of us?

A Mexican non-governmental organization (NGO) recently released its annual list of the world’s 50 most murderous cities.

This NGO is the Consejo Ciudadano para la Seguridad Pública y Justicia Penal – the “Citizens’ Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice” (CCSPJP).

The organization does very careful research, explains its methodology, and lists its sources.

One can always quibble about details, and some countries provide better data than others, but in compiling the report, they have to work with the data available.

For this list, only cities or urban areas of 300,000 inhabitants or more are counted.

The calculation is made on the basis of the murder rate per 100,000 inhabitants. 

The cities on the list come from 9 or ten countries, depending on how you count them (more on that later).

Of the world’s 50 most murderous cities, 46 are in the Western Hemisphere. The only country not in our hemisphere is South Africa, which is home to four cities on the list.

Mexico, our neighbor to the south, has 18 of the world’s 50 most murderous cities. Not only that, but the top eight cities on the list are in Mexico.

The most murderous city in the world in 2021 was Zamora, located in the western Mexican state of Michoacan.

According to the CCSPJP (my translation):

For the fifth consecutive year a Mexican city is the most violent in the world. In 2021 that most violent Mexican city in the world was Zamora, in the state of Michoacan. The homicide rate of 196.63 per 100,000 inhabitants of this city [Zamora] is the second highest registered since this ranking has been calculated, only surpassed by the Juarez rate of 229.06 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants in 2010.

Also:

In 2021 the eight most violent cities in the world were all Mexican: Zamora, Ciudad Obregon, Zacatecas, Tijuana, Celaya, Juarez, Ensenada and Uruapan.

The famous eastern Mexican city of Cancun is #40 on the list. How is that going to affect Mexico’s tourism industry?

The CCSPJP report is not at all complimentary of the current Mexican president:

Mexico now has three years as the world epicenter of violent urban homicide. It is not a coincidence, but the result of the policy of ‘abrazos, no balazos’ (hugs not bullets) practiced by the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a policy that consists of leaving criminal groups at almost absolute liberty to murder, disappear persons, extort and rob.

Also note that the Mexican statistics don’t include the amount of disappeared persons.

Through the years, I have walked the streets of some of these Mexican cities, in safety, with my wife and sons. It’s sad to read about how bad the situation is in Mexico now.

Brazil has 11 cities on the list. Colombia has four. Honduras two. Ecuador, Haiti, and Jamaica have one each. Venezuela has no cities on the list, because there wasn’t good enough data available.

The most murderous city in the U.S.A. was St. Louis, Missouri, at #9, with 65.32 murders per 100,000 inhabitants. Therefore, St. Louis is more violent than all but eight cities in Mexico.

Other U.S. cities on the list were #15 Baltimore, #17 New Orleans, #19 Memphis, #26 Detroit, 
#41 Philadelphia, and #45 Milwaukee.

San Juan, on the island of Puerto Rico, was #37. Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory that some want to make a state.

So counting Puerto Rico, the U.S. has eight cities on the list.

Shouldn’t we be paying attention to these high murder rates?

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