Latin America and the Caribbean have become the world’s most violent and dangerous regions with skyrocketing murder rates compared to the rest of the world, where murder rates are actually falling.
The entire top 10 list of the world’s most murderous cities are in Latin America, and 43 of the 50 countries on the list are all in Latin America, a Wall Street Journal report states.
As murder rates around the world are actually falling, the rates in Latin America are not only rising, but are outpacing the population by three times.
Acapulco, Mexico, for one, saw 953 violent murders in 2017 in a city with only 800,000 total people. This can be compared to the city of Philadelphia, which has nearly 1.6 million people, and saw 277 homicides in the same year.
People living in Acapulco, Caracas, Venezuela, or San Salvador, El Salvador, for longer than 70 years have a one in 10 chance of being murdered.
Nearly one in four murders takes place in either Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico or Colombia, the WSJ report claims, and with just 8 percent of the world’s population, Latin America is responsible for nearly one-third of murders worldwide.
While it’s difficult to compare murder rates globally because countries and agencies measure murders differently, while some, like Africa, don’t measure them at all, Angela Me of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime told the WSJ, “With the data we have, there is no doubt Latin America and the Caribbean are most violent region.”
Part of the violence stems from gangs such as MS-13 and Barrio 18, who not only cause a lot of the violence but can also dictate if people can get medical care.
In the years 2000-2017, the WSJ writes, more than 2.5 million people were murdered in Latin America and the Caribbean. This statistic stands out when juxtaposed with the fact that in the same years, 900,000 people were killed in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan combined, according to U.N. figures.
Further, in this same period, the entire world’s worth of terrorists killed 243,000 people, according to report by the University of Maryland’s Global Terrorism Database. (RELATED: Venezuela’s New Currency Does Little So Far To Stabilize Economy)
In Brazil, where a record 63,808 people were killed in 2017, there’s a popular Twitter account called “Onde Tem Tiroteo” or “Where’s the shootout?” which updates where shots are fired so people know to avoid the area.
However, murder rates in the U.S. comparative to other Western countries are high, in fact four times as high.
The U.S. murder rate is 5.3 per 100,000 people compared to 1.7 for Canada, 1.2 for the United Kingdom and Germany and 0.7 for Italy, according to the WSJ.
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