The World’s Most Dangerous Places

The 12 most dangerous places in the world

We live in a world where anyone can get to any destination from any part of the place within hours. In a sense, the world really is small. But is it safe? A crime-free society is what we call a utopian society, where there is equality in every respect. Yet it is something that cannot be achieved, at least not in the near future.

Widespread economic and political imbalances around the world have created prosperous regions that are considered largely safe. Then there are regions that fail and are unsafe.

Below we have compiled a list of the most dangerous places in the world where violent crimes such as murder and kidnapping are widespread.

12. Ciudad Juarez

Country: Mexico

Ciudad Juarez, or simply Juarez, is one of the largest cities on the U.S.-Mexico border. Because of its size and location, the city is a major corridor for trade and transportation between the two North American countries. However, it is also known for its violent crimes, frequent cartel conspiracies, and gang conflicts.

Juarez was once considered the most dangerous city in the world because of uncontrolled gang wars (especially between the Sinaloa and Juarez cartels) and other violent crimes. In 2008, Juárez had the highest homicide rate in the world, 130 people per 100,000 inhabitants, surpassing Caracas. By 2013, however, the city recorded a 70 percent drop in homicides.

At the height of the drug wars, around 2010, the presence of the Mexican federal police and armed forces was increased to curb the violence. Unfortunately, this has led to human rights abuses in the city.

11. Durban

Country: South Africa

Despite being one of the most developed countries on the African continent, South Africa’s cities are considered some of the most dangerous places to live. Cities such as Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town have high rates of violent crime, while theft is commonplace.

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Throughout the 1990s, Durban and its environs had a high homicide rate. This rate declined for a decade and then rose sharply again throughout 2010.

Durban is a major corridor for smuggling drugs into and out of sub-Saharan Africa. Drug trafficking in the region has increased significantly over the past two decades.

10. Cape Town

Country: South Africa

The South African city of Cape Town (the legislative capital), like other major cities, is plagued by an increasing number of criminal activities, including drug and gang-related crimes. Despite a booming economy and a popular tourist destination, violent crime is widespread in Cape Town. However, it has been steadily declining.

The homicide rate in Cape Town is high (about 63 people per 100,000 inhabitants as of 2020). Back in September 2019, Nigeria’s vice president boycotted the African Economic Summit, which was held in Cape Town, due to riots against foreigners that took place in South African cities. The riots resulted in the deaths of many foreigners.

The suburban areas of Cape Town are the epicenter of crime in the city. Cape Flats, located southeast of the central city, has more than 130 different gangs who are often involved in violent conflicts.

The recent surge in South Africans leaving the country is mainly due to the rise of crime and corruption in the cities. Overall, South Africa is considered the second most dangerous place to live for ex.

9. St. Louis

Anti-violence protesters on North Grand Avenue, St. Louis June 2, 2018.

Country: United States, North America

St. Louis is the second largest and most independent city in the state of Missouri, USA. It has one of the highest crime rates (per hundred thousand residents) in the country. Since the mid-1990s, St. Louis has consistently been considered one of the most dangerous places to live.

In 2017, there were about 66 homicides per 100,000 residents, about ten times the national average.

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Yet despite its tumultuous history, St. Louis has been and continues to be an attractive place for businesses and startups. According to the Pew Charitable Trust, from 2000 to 2014, about 15,000 college graduates moved to the city, making it one of the most popular destinations for working millennials.

8. Papua New Guinea.

Papua New Guinea children during White Ribbon Day (For the Elimination of Violence Against Women)

Papua New Guinea is a sovereign nation located north of Australia in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It occupies the eastern part of the island of New Guinea.

The country is considered by many to be the worst place in the world for women. According to a 2013 study published in The Lancet, about 27 percent of men on Bougainville Island in Papua New Guinea have raped a non-partner, and 14 percent have committed gang rape.

Papua New Guinea also has a history of witch hunts. It is estimated that up to 150 alleged witches (mostly women) are killed each year.

Police corruption and brutality are widespread in the country. According to Human Rights Watch, abuses by security forces in the country are rarely prosecuted or even acknowledged.

7. Tijuana

United States (left) and Mexico (right) Border fence in Tijuana

Country: Mexico

Tijuana is the largest city in the state of Baja California and the sixth largest in Mexico. Because of its strong economy, Tijuana has a strong influence on politics, transportation, and tourism in the country. Unfortunately, the city also leads the way in kidnappings, murders, and overall crime rates.

The city is home to the Tijuana Cartel, once considered Mexico’s largest and most dangerous drug cartel. Gang-related crimes in the city peaked between 2007 and 2013, while the homicide rate rose 48 percent.

As of 2020, Tijuana has one of the highest homicide rates per capita in the world, 85 per 100,000 people.

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6. Natal and Fortaleza.

Country: Brazil, South America

Crime in Brazil is dangerously high. According to various reports, the South American country has the highest rate of violent crime, including kidnapping and murder. According to the UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime), Brazil ranks 15th in the world in the number of victims of intentional homicide.

Gang violence is widespread in Brazil and often targets state security officials and local police. Over the past few years, drug trafficking has increased rapidly in the country.

Large Brazilian cities such as Natal and Fortaleza have some of the highest crime rates in the country. They have the fourth-highest and seventh-highest homicide rates per 100,000 population in the world, respectively.

Other cities such as El Salvador, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo are notorious for express kidnappings, where people are kidnapped after withdrawing money from ATMs.

5. Caracas

Country: Venezuela, South America

Caracas is the largest city and capital of Venezuela, located on the northern coast of South America. The city has a violent past, and its crime rate is much higher than the national average. Serious crimes, such as kidnapping, are common.

It has the second-highest homicide rate in the world. The rising crime rate in the country and the city is primarily due to deep-rooted political instability since the presidency of Hugo Chávez in the late 1990s. Hunger and economic imbalance have played a significant role in widespread violence across the country.

According to sources, about 98 percent of crimes in the country go unpunished.

4. Los Cabos

Country: Mexico

Los Cabos is a municipality in the state of Baja California, Mexico City. Historically, the region has been plagued by drugs and gang violence. Violence is concentrated in poor communities in Los Cabos, while it is largely absent from tourist destinations and resorts.

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The municipality of Los Cabos is an important drug smuggling corridor, and local gangs often resort to violence to gain control of the region. This is a major contributing factor to the state’s rising homicide rate.

In 2016, reports of gang violence skyrocketed in Los Cabos and surrounding areas following the arrest of drug lord Joaquin Guzman, nicknamed “El Chapo.”

3. Sudan

A UN peacekeeper in the Abu Shouk IDP camp in Darfur, Sudan

The Republic of Sudan, is a Northeast African country with the third largest population on the continent. Like most other sub-Saharan countries, crime in Sudan is rampant and has had its fair share of political and social unrest.

Sudan’s second civil war, which officially ended in 2005, has greatly weakened the country’s economy, leading to widespread economic inequality. It is estimated that as many as 200,000 people were forced into slavery during the war.

Sudan’s Darfur region is without a doubt one of the most dangerous places in the world. A major armed conflict that erupted in the region in 2003 led to at least 500,000 deaths by 2010.

The war in Darfur caused a serious humanitarian crisis, which came to light in 2010 when the International Criminal Court accused Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir of war crimes and genocide in the country.

Poverty, hunger and corruption make Sudan an ideal place for crime to grow.

2. Somalia

Somali police officers on the scene to investigate

For those who do not know, Somalia is an African country located on the east coast, surrounded by the Gulf of Aden to the north, the Somali Sea to the east and Ethiopia to the east.

Somalia is experiencing a civil war that began nearly three decades ago. The Somali civil war is the result of a power struggle between different political factions. It is considered one of the bloodiest, if not the bloodiest, conflicts since World War II.

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Over the years, large-scale military operations in the country have resulted in civilian deaths and human rights violations. Much of this recent military effort has been directed against the Islamist militant group, Harakat al-Shabab.

1. Syria

View of Saadallah al-Jabiri Square in Aleppo, Syria, after it was shelled in 2012

According to the 2019 Global Peace Index, Syria is the second least peaceful country in the world. The country is currently experiencing one of the deadliest civil wars of recent times. The ongoing multi-faceted Syrian civil war can be described as an indirect war because of the involvement of many foreign countries.

Syria also has a strong presence of militant groups who are actively participating in the civil war. The long-term political instability caused by the civil war has made important Syrian cities, such as Aleppo, a war zone. Syria’s capital, Damascus, was named the world’s least livable city in 2019.

At least 400,000 people have been killed in Syria since the civil war began. As of June 2020, some 5.6 million Syrian citizens had taken refuge in other countries, and 6.2 million were internally displaced.

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