There are plenty of cities (and countries) currently in turmoil over wars and political upheavals, particularly in the Middle East and parts of Africa. Yet, there are some other parts of the world where the war is internal, resulting in several homicides per week, and (not) surprisingly all of these cities are from South America. Drug trafficking, political uprising, and economic downturns have made these cities a center for crimes of all sorts.
Here, we are listing the most dangerous cities in the world so that you have knowledge about them. If you are planning to go there, be aware of the issues. These cities are dangerous to travel to.
Most Dangerous Cities in the World
We curated this list of dangerous cities in the world so that you are aware of the risk while going there. The list is sorted by the criteria of murder rates per capita for the year 2022. This makes the statistics current and still relevant.
1. Tijuana, Mexico
The most dangerous city in the world is Tijuana with 138 homicides per 100K on the basis of the 2022 survey. It defeated Los Cabos, Mexico which was the most dangerous city in the world in 2017. The population of Tijuana is 2 million and this place has the highest number of homicides with high murder rates. This makes Tijuana, Mexico the most dangerous city in the world.
Tijuana is the most visited border city and one of the fastest-growing in Mexico due to a number of people regularly crossing the border to experience the culture and the nightlife. But the imperative fact about the city is the murder rate of 138 per one lakh people, despite active action from the US state department against violent crime. Additionally, pickpocketing tourists and mugging are everyday crimes compared to the city being a spot for human trafficking, brutal drug killings, and drug trade of numerous types of drugs including cocaine.
2. Acapulco, Mexico
The bay city of Mexico, Acapulco is a major seaport city on the Pacific coast of the country. Along with beautiful weather, ocean, mountains, and landscape, the city has a murder rate of 111 per lakh of people. Five years back, it was 106.63 homicides per 100k. Once a glorious city of the bay, the city is now engulfed in drug wars, gang fights, frequent homicides, and ruthless robberies. It is not advisable to go out at night (or at all) if you would dare to visit the city at all. From targeted murders, assassinations in broad daylight, and other heinous crimes committed publicly to induce terror and fear, Acapulco is a live nightmare and something out of a gangster movie.
3. Caracas, Venezuela
The third most dangerous city in the world belongs to Mexico’s South American neighbor, Venezuela. The populous city of Caracas is located near the coast and the Avila mountain, making its climate pleasant, yet the atmosphere remains of danger in the most dangerous city in Venezuela. The political instability and hyperinflation of Venezuela are well-known, which have been the main cause of the rise in crime.
The murder date is at 99 per 100,000 people, in addition to regular thievery, pickpocketing, and mugging that follows a killing. In 2017, this value was 111.19 per 100k. The military in charge has ordered to avoid going out at the night. While political leadership is the main motivation behind crimes, corruption and drug smuggling are other major factors behind the violence.
4. Ciudad Victoria, Mexico
Ciudad Victoria is located in the northeastern part of Mexico. Reporting a large number of violent incidents every day, the city is like others on this list for the reasons; of drug smuggling and corruption.
The homicide rate of Ciudad Victoria is 86.01 per 100,000. This city was in 8th position five years back with 83.32 per 100k. The city discourages travelers from visiting for safety concerns since gangs attack visitors in different parts of the city.
5. Ciudad Juarez
Ciudad Juarez was not in this in 2018 but this city has encountered a sharp rise in the murder rate after that. The murder rate in Ciudad Juarez rose from 56.2 murders per 100k to 86 murders per 100k people.
6. Irapuato, Mexico
Irapuato is located at the foot of Arandas Hill that’s why it has scenic beauty and good place for tourists. Irapuato has a high murder rate of 81 per 100,000 residents which includes criminal activities including extortions and kidnappings.
7. Ciudad Guayana, Venezuela
Ciudad Guayana is a Venezuelan port city in the state of Bolivar and is a major city with national parks and pleasant waterfalls. The economic instability in the country has shot up the rates of theft, robbery, trafficking, and drug trade in cities like Ciudad Guayana. Most common attacks are on people and visitors who are unfamiliar with the region and clearly do not take safety precautions. Not using electronic devices in public is a basic safety norm people need to follow here to avoid mugging or theft, which has not helped the tourism of the city.
The murder rate of 78 per 100,000 people has not been controlled by the police because of the clear corruption among the ranks.
8. Natal, Brazil
Natal means Christmas in Portuguese and indeed sunny seaside city if Brazil is full of wonderful beaches, historically significant places, and malls. But these attractive places are regular places of robbery and mugging at gunpoint. The travelers are advised to walk in a group with a local guide to avoid such incidents that usually happen with foreign visitors, who are unfamiliar with the area.
Even the law can’t come to the rescue always since the corruption has seeped into local levels where officers ask for bribes to do their duty. The homicide rate in the city is 75 per one lakh people which includes the killings at the hands of police officers as well. In a previous survey of 2017, this rate was 102.56 homicides per 100k which shows the decrease in the murder rate in this city.
9. Fortaleza, Brazil
Fortaleza entices travelers with its exotic beaches, culture, and history, but they are bound to be scared off by the crime statistics of this Brazilian city. The homicide rate is 83.48 out of one lakh people, in addition to thefts on public transport and especially people waiting at stations are vulnerable to mugging and robbery.
It is wise to stay out of the northern neighborhood of Fortaleza, which is allegedly more dangerous than most of the city. The authorities continue their failing efforts to control these problems.
10. Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town is a beautiful city in South Africa but it is also one of the most dangerous cities in the world with 66.36 homicides per 100,000 people. It is the first non-Latino city on this list of most dangerous places in the world.
10. Belem, Brazil
Belem is a port city in Brazil and a gateway to the lower region of the Amazon river. Belem remains famous for its Portuguese colonial features and the great river too. Out of the total population, the murder rate is 65.31 per 100,000 people and the number of violent crimes has increased in recent years.
The city shares its borders with Peru, Columbia, and Bolivia, which has only made it the gateway for smuggling drugs in and out of the region. Despite strong attraction from the tourists, the city remains cruel to travelers, who must keep their valuables away to avoid any heinous crime.
12. Cancún, Mexico
With a homicide rate of 65 per every one lakh people, this city is on the list of most dangerous cities in the world. It is the drug cartels and the violence among the gangs that have played an important role in the bloodshed all over the city.
It is one of the major cities in Mexico, being a major spot for tourism, and also one of the US department’s advised ‘do not travel’ cities. It might not be safe for humans, but biodiversity continues to thrive here, although it is not a good choice to visit the city for it.
Read More, Most Dangerous Airports In The World
In the top 50 list of the most dangerous cities in the world, not including the warzones, most of the list is occupied by South American cities for redundant reasons such as drug trafficking, economic instability, and corruption. St. Louis, Missouri (US) is the first non-Latino city on the list at 13tt position. The list is sorted by the criteria of murder rates per capita for the year 2022. This makes the statistics current and still relevant.