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Column 021615 Wall

Monday, February 16, 2015

Ten Mexican Cities, and Four in the USA, on 50 Most Murderous List

By Allan Wall

A Mexican NGO called the Consejo Ciudadano para la Seguridad Pública y Justicia Penal, A.C. (Citizen Council for Public Security and Penal Justice), whose president is Jose Antonio Ortega Sanchez, released a list of the world’s 50 cities with the highest homicide rates in 2014.

 The group’s statistics are based on homicide rates calculated from 100,000 inhabitants.  Of the 50 cities, 47 were in the Western Hemisphere.

The country with the most cities on the “Top Fifty” list was Brazil, with 19. That’s three more than in 2013.  Mexico was in second place with ten, followed by Colombia with five, Venezuela and the United States with four cities each, three cities in South Africa, two in Honduras, and one each in Guatemala, El Salvador and Jamaica. 

San Pedro Sula, Honduras was the world’s murder capital for the fourth straight year.  It had a homicide rate of 171 per 100,000 inhabitants. 

Caracas, Venezuela was in second place with a homicide rate of 115 per 100,000.

The third-most murderous city, and Mexico’s “highest” ranking, was Acapulco, on the Pacific Coast, with 104 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants.

At #4 was João Pessoa, Brazil with 79 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants. 

The Tegucigalpa Central District in Honduras was #5 with 77 homicides per 100,000.   

Here is a list of Mexico’s ten cities on the Top 50 list:

1.         The Mexican city with the highest homicide rate in 2014 was #3 Acapulco (on the Pacific Coast), with 104 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants.  Acapulco was #3 last year though its absolute homicide rate declined from 113 in 2013.

2.         The second-most murderous city in Mexico was Culiacan, capital of the western state of Sinaloa.  Culiacan was #24 on the world list, with 42 homicides per 100,000. 

3.         The third-most dangerous city (#27 worldwide) was Ciudad Juarez (across the border from El Paso, Texas).  Ciudad Juarez had 40 homicides per 100,000.  Both its homicide rate and ranking increased from last year.

4.         Ciudad Obregon, in the northern state of Sonora, was #31 in the world and #4 in Mexico, with a homicide rate of 37.7 per 100,000.  It’s new on the Top 50 list this year.

5.         In 34th place on the list, and #5 in Mexico, was Nuevo Laredo, across the border from Laredo, Texas.  Nuevo Laredo had 35 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants. 

6.         In 41st place on the world list, and #6 in Mexico, was Ciudad Victoria, capital of the northeastern state of Tamaulipas.  This city’s homicide rate was 33.91 homicides out of 100,000.  

7.         In 43rd place on the list, and #7 in Mexico, was Chihuahua City in the north, with 33.3 homicides per 100,000. 

8.         Tijuana, across the border from San Diego, California, was 45th and #8 in Mexico, with 30 homicides per 100,000. 

9.         Torreon, in the Laguna region of northern Mexico, was #48 in the world and #9 in Mexico.  Torreon had a homicide rate of 28 per 100,000. 

10.       Cuernavaca, called the “City of Eternal Spring” by Alexander von Humboldt, had a homicide rate of 34.91 per 100,000 and is #10 in Mexico and #50 in the world.

Of these ten cities, the following declined in both their rank and their absolute homicide rates: Culiacan, Nuevo Laredo, Ciudad Victoria, Chihuahua City, Torreon and Cuernavaca.

Torreon’s decrease was dramatic, from #18 in 2013 to #48 in 2014, from 54.25 homicides per 100,000 in 2013 to 28 per 100,000 in 2014.

In Ciudad Juarez, both the murder rate and list rank increased.

In Tijuana, the homicide rate went up but the ranking went down, because of other cities.

As for the United States of America, it has four cities on the list:  They are:

1.         St. Louis, Missouri, #19 worldwide, with a homicide rate of 50 per 100,000.

2.         Detroit, Michigan, #22 worldwide, had a homicide rate of 45 per 100,000.

3.         New Orleans, Louisiana, #28, had a homicide rate of 39.5 per 100,000.

4.         Baltimore, Maryland, with a homicide rate of 33.92, was ranked #40 worldwide.

Consider that St. Louis and Detroit each has a higher homicide rate than any city in Mexico with the exception of Acapulco.  New Orleans has a higher rate than any but three Mexican cities, and Baltimore has a higher homicide rate than any but five Mexican cities. 

To visit the website of the Consejo Ciudadano para la Seguridad Pública y Justicia Penal A.C., click here. 


Allan Wall, an educator, resided in Mexico for many years.  His website is located at

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