Six of the world’s ten most dangerous cities are in Latin America; Researchers say drugs, poverty are key factors in Mexico, Colombia and Brazil

Oct 8, 2015

Of the world’s ten most dangerous cities, six of them are in Latin America. Extend the list to 20 cities and 14 of the most dangerous are in Latin America, with a six in Brazil. The other four cities among the top ten are in Middle East war zones. “Most dangerous” status is based on incidences of violent crime against individuals, according to InterCorporate, a business relocation consulting firm

Cali, Colombia

Cali, Colombia

According to international criminology studies, InterCorporate says that Latin American crime and is largely created by the drug trade and poverty, although poverty becomes more of a factor when it’s in close proximity to wealth created by drug sales.

“There are hundreds of millions of very poor people in the world who are not criminals and many poor communities with low crime rates,” says researcher Stefan Morrison, director of the International Crime Studies Center in London. “The problem is when very poor people see wealth generated by illegal activities at close range, especially the drug trade.”

According to Morrison, crime rates are a major factor in tourism and migration, as well as with business relocation. “Expatriation trends are highly affected by crime rates and this is why you are currently seeing out-migration of many North Americans in some areas of Mexico and Colombia,” he says. “An example of this is Medellin, Colombia, which has seen a 200% increase in violent crime since 2013. The city was becoming an new expat mecca until recently.”

On the other hand, says Morrison, expat locations with lower crime rates will benefit from the trends. “Safer areas, such as Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Nicaragua will become more attractive,” he says.

The world’s top 10 most dangerous cities are:

1.    Barquisimeto, Venezuela
2.    Peshawar, Pakistan
3.    Sana’a, Yemen
4.    Acapulco, Mexico
5.    Distrito Central, Honduras
6.    Maceió, Brazil
7.    Mogadishu, Somalia
8.    Nairobi, Kenya
9.    Chihuahua, Mexico
10.  Cali, Colombia

Included in the next five most dangerous cities are Juarez, Mexico, and Medellin, Colombia.