25 Of The Most Dangerous Cities in the World

While selecting a city to travel or for living — our main concerns have always been to look at the safety of our family and ourselves. While most of us have known about the popular and safest places to live, travel or work: these cities are dangerous due to uncontrolled drug trafficking, violence, political corruption, and are highly dominated by ruthless and violent gangs.

Here’s a list of 25 of the world’s most dangerous cities!

#1 Recife in Brazil

The city may be largely unheard of, but Recife in Brazil had 1,656 homicides in a city of 3,717,640 inhabitants. The city is the fifth-largest metropolitan area in Brazil and it is commonly referred to as the “Brazilian Venice”, due to its many bridges and canals. So for a city that seems to have so much in its favor, why all of the violence?

Recife in Brazil violence

Still just a boy: Giant, 17, poses with his gun and his medallion of St George. Brazilian drug gangs regularly recruit minors, who often get lesser sentences


#2 Medellin in Colombia

The 24th most dangerous city on the list is the city of Medellin in Colombia, with a reported 1,175 homicides per 2,393,011 inhabitants. It is believed that much of the violence can be blamed on criminal bands trying to gain control of certain territories.However, homicide is actually on the gradual decrease in this city, as 1991 alone reported 6,349 homicides.

Medellin Colombia violence

#3 Cucuta in Colombia

If you’re thinking of travelling to Columbia any time soon, then take note. The city of Cucuta is highly dangerous, and it ranked 23 on the world’s most dangerous cities list. There was a reported 346 homicides for just 637,302 inhabitants.


200 Cucuta faithful held an impromptu wake in the stands of the General Santander Stadium in honor of 17-year-old Cristopher Jacome. According to La Opinion of Cucuta, the deceased was a member of the club’s “Barra del Indio” supporter group and was shot to death the previous day while playing football.


#4 New Orleans

New Orleans is the first American city to make it onto the list of the most dangerous cities in the world. There were a reported 93 homicides per 343,829 inhabitants. It is believed that many of the deaths are due to a high rate of gun crime, as well as gang warfare and drug lords.

new orleans violence

Bystanders comfort a shooting victim while awaiting EMS at the intersection of Frenchmen and N. Villere Streets after authorities say gunfire injured at least a dozen people, including a child, at a Mother’s Day second-line parade in New Orleans on Sunday, May 12.


#5 Nuevo Laredo in Mexico

Nuevo Laredo in Mexico is also a city notorious for its high rates of crime and violence. The city has produced an alarming 288 murders for 385,315 inhabitants per year. It is reported that violence has particularly exploded since the Sinaloa Cartel entered the city to fight the Zetas.

Nuevo Laredo, Mexico violance

The new chief of Public Security of Nuevo Laredo (north of Mexico, borde with the US) Alejandro Dominguez Coello lies dead in his car, 08 June 2005.


#6 Barquisimeto in Venezuela

Barquisimeto is estimated to have had 804 homicides for 1,120,718 inhabitants each year. In 2011, the Global Study on Homicide, published by the UN, placed Venezuela as the South American country with the highest rate of crime and violence.

Barquisimeto, Venezuela dangerous cities

Members of the National Guard take shelter before a riot in front of the prison Uribana, in Barquisimeto, Lara state, Venezuela, on January 25, 2013.


#7 Joao Pessoa in Brazil

Joao Pessoa is another dangerous city in Brazil. There was a whopping 508 homicides reported for 723,515 inhabitants. In December, president Dilma Rouseff stated that three in every 1000 Brazilian teens are murdered before turning 19. – Very dangerous indeed.

João Pessoa brazil dangerous cities

Slum district in Joao Pessoa, Paraiba, Brazil.


#8 Manaus in Brazil

The name of “Manaus” means “mother of the gods” in tribute to the indigenous nation of Manaós, However, this city is certainly not ‘godlike’, as it finds itself on this list. The ranking is established with 945 homicides for 1,342,846 inhabitants.


The Justice of the lawless state of Amazonas, in northern Brazil, investigates a television host, and former police officer, suspected of ordering crimes which were filmed by the production team and cast in their program. Former cop Wallace Souza “went on to create facts, ordered that crimes were committed to generate news for the program”


#9 Guatemala City

Guatemala City is also an extremely dangerous city to live in. A study revealed an alarming 2,063 homicides for 3,062,519 inhabitants. It is reported that the majority of crimes are caused by gunfire, and as a result, many are urging the government to take control.

gang violence mexico

Miriam Ramirez Amador, center, mourns her brother Roberto Amador, an anti-drug agent, during his funeral in Guatemala City on April 25. Roberto Amador was killed along with four other agents in a shootout with alleged drug traffickers.


#10 Salvador City in Brazil

Salvador City in Brazil had a shocking 2,391 homicides for 3,642,482 inhabitants, making it one of the most violent cities in the world. But the irony is that Salvador City is also known as Brazil’s ‘capital of happiness’ due to its countless popular outdoor parties, including its street carnival. All that violence doesn’t sound too happy to us!

salvador brazil violence

Armed and dangerous: A young gangster nicknamed Giant, 17, poses with a gun atop the same hill. Salvador, which is a major tourist destination and a host city for the 2014 World Cup, is in the grip of an unprecedented wave of violence that has seen murder rates soar by more than 250 per cent


#11 Culiacan in Mexico

The city of Culiacan, in Mexico, is number 16 on the list. The report estimated that 549 homicides occurred for 884,601 inhabitants. The city of Culiacan is also the fourth Mexican city on the most dangerous cities in the world list. Looks like Mexico may also find itself on the “biggest decrease in tourism” list soon too.


Culiacan, Mexico, is the base of the Sinaloa cartel, one of Mexico’s most powerful drug trafficking organizations.


#12 Fortaleza in Brazil

Fortaleza in Brazil had 1,628 homicides per 2,452,185 inhabitants, which places it in the 14th spot on the list. Fortaleza is the 5th largest city in Brazil, however that does not make it a desirable place to live, as the high level of violence and murder is already beginning to drive residents away.

crime brazil

#13 Vitoria in Brazil

Vitoria in Brazil had a shocking 1,018 homicides for 1,685,384 inhabitants. In January, a one-year old girl was murdered during a robbery, sparking worldwide outrage and mourning. As a result, the city now has a notorious reputation for its high crime and murder rates, placing it securely on this list.

criminality brazil

#14 Cuernaca in Mexico

Cuernaca in Mexico is also another city to end up on the world’s most dangerous cities, and this is due to the murder-per-capita ratio. The city had had 359 murders per 640,188 inhabitants – That’s very alarming indeed! It’s safe to say that this city will not be receiving many tourists in the near future!

mexico gangs

In this Nov. 5 photo, armed men from to a self-defense group create a checkpoint in the city of Cuernaca, Mexico.


#15 Ciudad Juarez in Mexico

Ciudad Juarez in Mexico had 749 homicides for 1,339,648 inhabitants, according to the report this year. Regardless, at the start of the year, they showed a steady decrease in crime, from the 2,086 reported in 2011, to 750 in 2012. Perhaps in the next 5 – 10 years, this city won’t make the list at all?


A soldier stands guard on the top of a hill as faithful commemorate Good Friday during Holy Week in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.


#16 Guayana in Venezuela

Guayana in Venezuela reported 578 homicides for 1,050,283 inhabitants. In February 2012, the Venezueal Observatory began the Campaign to Sensibilitize the Value of Life in Venezuela, hoping this campaign would spread the message of peace. If action such as this is continually taken, one can only hope that the violence and homicide will decrease dramatically.


#17 Detroit

Detroit is another U.S city to make the notorious list. There were a recorded 386 murders for 606,585 inhabitants in the last year alone. CQ Press also initiated a study of their own, and they believed that Detroit is certainly one of the most violent cities in the whole of the United States.

The Motor City tops the list of America's Most Dangerous Cities for the fourth straight year thanks to a stubborn problem mostly with gang-related violence. Violent crimes -- murder, rape, robbery and assault -- fell 10 percent last year but are still running five times the national average.

The Motor City tops the list of America’s Most Dangerous Cities for the fourth straight year thanks to a stubborn problem mostly with gang-related violence. Violent crimes — murder, rape, robbery and assault — fell 10 percent last year but are still running five times the national average.


#18 Sao Luis in Brazil

Sao Luis is another South American city on the list and it had 509 homicides per 1,014,837 inhabitants. For a town well known for its sea ports and beautiful, surrounding sea, it is a terrible sadness for the city to be suffering from such high levels of homicide, violence, and gang warfare.

Whose streets? A Brazilian drug gang member nicknamed Firecracker, 22, poses with a gun atop a hill overlooking a Salvador slum  Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2318403/The-drug-gangs-violence-Brazilian-city-expecting-hundreds-thousands-football-fans-years-World-Cup.

Whose streets? A Brazilian drug gang member nicknamed Firecracker, 22, poses with a gun atop a hill


#19 Cali in Colombia

The city of Cali in Colombia ranks number 7th on the list, and much of this violence is a result of the drug cartels and guerrillas. It is estimated that there are 1,1819 homicides per 2,294,653 inhabitants. This wave of violence has occurred largely since 1995 after the Rodriguez Orejuela brothers were captured.

Cali, Colombia dangerous city

A drug addict smokes crack in ‘El Calvario’, a place where drug addicts come together to consume drugs, in downtown in Cali, department of Valle del Cauca, Colombia, on April 3, 2013.


#20 Maceió in Brazil

The city of Maceió in Brazil also made it onto the list, as there are reportedly 801 homicides per 932,748 inhabitants in the city – Shocking!

Maceió, Brazil violence

Radio Patrol Battalion (RP) military policemen patrol during an operation at the Brejal shantytown in Maceio, northeastern Brazil on March 12, 2012.


#21 Torreon in Mexico

Although this city is the ninth-biggest metropolitan area in Mexico and is one of Mexico’s most important economic and industrial centers, the violence in Torreon places the city in fifth place on the list. There are 1,087 murders per 1,147,647 inhabitants.

Torreón, Mexico voilence

A member of Mexican federal police and paramedics help an injured man in the main entrance of the El Siglo de Torreon Newspaper, in Torreon, Coahuila State, on February 27, 2013.


#22 The Federal District in Francisco Morazan

When we heard that there is only one police officer per 1,752 inhabitants, then it did not surprise us that The Federal District in Francisco Morazan comes in as number four. There are approximately 1,149 murders per 1,126,534 inhabitants, and violence in this city is slowly spiraling out of control.

Francisco Morazan violence


#23 Caracas, Venezuela

Caracas, Venezuela is also in a dire situation, as the city finds itself ranked at #3. It is reported that only eight of 100 crimes that take place will actually be punished, and there’s an average of 3,862 homicides per 3,247,971 people.

Caracas Violance

Riot police shadow a march of university students going along one of the main streets of Caracas, March, 15, 2011.


#24 Acapulco in Mexico

So which city is a close second on the list? The once-popular tourist destination of Acapulco in Mexico. A rise in murderous violence between drug lords and criminals has now made tourists avoid the sunny destination. The city reported 1,170 murders for 818,853 inhabitants.

Acapulco Violance

A suspected drug-related execution victim lies on Acapulco’s famous Caleta Beach on March 4, 2012 in Acapulco, Mexico.


#25 Honduras’ San Pedro Sula

When it comes to the number one spot, Honduras’ San Pedro Sula takes the cake. Shockingly, San Pedro Sula had 1,218 murders for 719,447 inhabitants in 2012.

San Pedro Sula Honduras violence

The bodies of six men murdered by suspected gang members lie in the parking lot of Ramon Villeda Morales Airport in San Pedro Sula, 240 kms north of Tegucigalpa in October 14, 2011.


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