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Ojo! The World's 20 Most Dangerous Cities Are All In Latin America

Drug wars, poverty and organized crime combine to help Latin America dominate the list of most deadly cities on earth. Add in the U.S., and the Americas count for almost all of the top 50.

Gun play in Nicaragua (Eric Molina)
Gun play in Nicaragua (Eric Molina)


As bloody drug wars rain down unprecedented levels of violence, Mexico's major cities are becoming more murderous than ever. But the urban violence epidemic is by no means just a Mexican phenomenon. Murders are rampant in cities throughout the Americas – from Baltimore to Barranquilla to Belo Horizonte – where homicide rates are well above the world average.

Of the world's 50 most violent cities, 45 are in the Americas, according to research done by a Mexican organization called Consejo Ciudadano para la Seguridad Pública y Justicia Penal (CCSPJP). A dozen of those cities are in Mexico, including Ciudad Juárez, the world's second deadliest city. Ciudad Juarez has an annual homicide rate of nearly 148 per 100,000 residents. By way of comparison, the murder rate in El Paso, Texas, located just across the border on the U.S. side, was 0.8 per 100,000 in 2010.

That's not so say the United States doesn't have its own share of urban violence. Four U.S. cities made CCSPJP's top 50 list: New Orleans (21st), Detroit (30th), Saint Louis (43rd) and Baltimore (48th).

South America has its fare share of deadly cities as well. Fourteen Brazilian cities made the list, including Maceió and Belém, ranked 3rd and 10th respectively. The Venezuelan capital of Caracas ranked 6th on the list, with an annual homicide rate of nearly 99 per 100,000. Colombia's Cali came in 11th.

The world's single most dangerous city is in neither North nor South America, but rather on the isthmus in between, according to the CCSPJP. That dubious distinction goes to San Pedro Sula, Honduras, which has a ghastly homicide rate of 158.87 per 100,000. Other Central America cities featured high on the ranking include Guatemala City (12th) in Guatemala and San Salvador (20th) in El Salvador.

The only country outside of the Americas to pop up multiple times on the CCSPJP was South Africa. Cape Town, with a murder rate of 46 per 100,000, ranked 30th. Three other South African cities, including Johannesburg (50th), also made the list, as did Mosul, Iraq (44th).

Read more from AméricaEconomía in Spanish

Photo - Eric Molina

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Black Sea Survivor: Tale Of A Ukrainian Special Agent Thrown Overboard In Enemy Waters

This is a tale of a Ukrainian special forces operator who wound up surviving 14 hours at sea, staying afloat and dodging Russian air and sea patrols.

Black Sea Survivor: Tale Of A Ukrainian Special Agent Thrown Overboard In Enemy Waters

Looking at the Black Sea in Odessa, Ukraine.

Rustem Khalilov and Roksana Kasumova

KYIV — During a covert operation in the Black Sea, a Ukrainian special agent was thrown overboard and spent the next 14 hours alone at sea, surrounded by enemy forces.

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The agent, who uses the call-sign "Conan," agreed to speak to Ukrainska Pravda, to share the details of nearly being lost forever at sea. He also shared some background on how he arrived in the Ukrainian special forces. Having grown up in a village in a rural territory of Ukraine, Conan describes himself as "a simple guy."

He'd worked in law enforcement, personal security and had a job as a fitness trainer when Russia launched its full-scale invasion on Feb. 24, 2022. That's when he signed up with the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Main Directorate of Intelligence "Artan" battalion. It was nearly 18 months into his service, when Conan faced the most harrowing experience of the war. Here's his first-hand account:

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