Special Report

Most Dangerous Cities in the World

Ensenada, Mexico
Source: DonFink / Getty Images

34. Ensenada, Mexico
> Homicides per 100,000 in 2018: 47
> Homicides in 2018: 253
> Population: 542,896

This coastal city on the Baja Peninsula, 65 miles south of Tijuana, is one of six Mexican cities debuting on this ranking amid a nationwide increase in violent crime. Ensenada has traditionally avoided cartel-related violence inflicting other parts of western Mexico, but like other Baja cities, the violence seems to be shifting its direction. In 2017, the tourist city of Los Cabos, on the tip of the Baja peninsula, was the world’s most dangerous city. Los Cabos fell from the list in 2018.

San Pedro Sula, Honduras
Source: urf / Getty Images

33. San Pedro Sula, Honduras
> Homicides per 100,000 in 2018: 47
> Homicides in 2018: 363
> Population: 777,877

Just a few years ago, San Pedro Sula in the north of this tiny Central American country was the world’s murder capital. The homicide rate, which topped a staggering 187 murders per 100,000 residents in 2013, remained solidly above 100 until 2017. Since then, the murder rate has dropped by well more than half, to 47 per 100,000 in 2018.

Celaya, Mexico
Source: Naypo007 / Getty Images

32. Celaya, Mexico
> Homicides per 100,000 in 2018: 47
> Homicides in 2018: 240
> Population: 510,787

Like Irapuato, located just 40 miles to the west, Celaya has debuted on the 2018 annual ranking largely due to a recent increase in violent criminal gang activity in Mexico’s central Guanajuato state, which has recently emerged as a hot zone for violent crime. Despite its proximity to Celaya and Irapuato (located less than 100 miles from both cities), the state capital Guanajuato City has so far avoided making the list.

Cali, Colombia
Source: Federico Lisowski / Getty Images

31. Cali, Colombia
> Homicides per 100,000 in 2018: 47
> Homicides in 2018: 1,209
> Population: 2,570,905

Once a target of the murderous Cali Cartel, this southwestern Colombia city is significantly safer from homicides than IT was just a few years ago. Cali lost the distinction of being the country’s murder capital IN 2018 to Palmira, the only other Colombian city on the latest annual report The Citizen Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice ranking.

The country’s homicide rates have dropped so much that four cities no longer appear on this list – at least for now.

Macapá, Brazil
Source: Roman_Rahm / Getty Images

30. Macapá, Brazil
> Homicides per 100,000 in 2018: 47
> Homicides in 2018: 233
> Population: 493,634

Homicides in this northern mining and lumber city situated on the Amazon River delta increased in 2018 from 40.2 homicides per 100,000 residents in 2017 and 30.25 per 100,000 a year earlier. A 2015 study published in Mercator, a Brazilian academic journal, cited interpersonal violence, drug-gang activity, and conflicts between the police and the local population as the main causes of persistent violence and homicides in the capital of Ampá state.

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