26 Most Dangerous Cities in the World

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Source: Thinkstock

20. Salvador, Brazil
> Homicides per 100,000: 54.7
> 2016 homicides: 2,180
> Population: 3,984,583
> Previous yr. rank 14

With about 55 homicides for every 100,000 people in 2016, Salvador’s murder rate has fallen in the past year but still has a long way to go. One explanation for the amount of violence in this northeastern city is that security gains in places like Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo have pushed Brazil’s criminal groups to expand their influence northwards.

Source: Vladimir H. Ribeiro, 6 January 2008. Wiki Image

19. Campos dos Goytacazes, Brazil
> Homicides per 100,000: 56.5
> 2016 homicides: 275
> Population: 487,186
> Previous yr. rank 39

A drastic jump on the list is Brazil’s Campos dos Goytacazes, where the homicide rate jumped by 36% last year. With the city’s economy based largely on oil extraction, job losses following Brazil’s Petrobras corruption scandal may be partly behind the uptick in violence.

Source: Luis X Montaño, WikiMedia

18. Cumaná, Venezuela
> Homicides per 100,000: 59.3
> 2016 homicides: 266
> Population: 448,507
> Previous yr. rank 24

Purportedly the oldest settlement in Venezuela, Cumana rose six spots on this list — meaning its murder rate worsened compared to other cities. According to a report by the Observatory of Venezuelan Violence, hunger-related crimes may be the reason violence in this seaside city is on the rise.

Source: HectorSilvas, WikiMedia

17. Barquisimeto, Venezuela
> Homicides per 100,000: 59.4
> 2016 homicides: 785
> Population: 1,322,068
> Previous yr. rank 20

This important hub of trade and culture gained three ranks from last year as it creeps up on the list of the world’s most dangerous cities. Boasting 17 post-secondary institutions and a historic focus on academics and music, one can only wonder why the homicide rate continues to rise.

Source: Geovanni1987 - user upload, WikiMedia

16. Vitória da Conquista, Brazil
> Homicides per 100,000: 60.1
> 2016 homicides: 208
> Population: 346,069
> Previous yr. rank 36

As the smallest South American city on the list, this coffee-producing region faced a large descent into violence as its homicide rate rose by double digits since last year.