Most countries in the world can thankfully be considered safe, and you can generally walk around happily, with a good level of personal safety awareness of course. But not all of us are so lucky to have this relative peace of mind. There are some countries where it’s not advisable to walk around after dark. Such high levels of violence are unimaginable to most of us, yet if you live in certain areas of Honduras for example, you’ll be lucky not to witness it on a regular basis.
The UN office on drugs and crime regularly compiles information on the levels of crime and in this instance, homicide in countries around the world. Here are the top five countries with an overwhelmingly high rate of homicide per capita.
These are places you might want to avoid?!
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This Central American country has the highest rate of homicide in the world, with a sharp increase of crime in general since 2009, and a high rate of unemployment thought to be partly to blame. In 2012 there were 6239 intentional homicides (at a rate of nearly 92 per 100,000 people – making it WAY out in front on this list). The Francisco Morazan Department is said to be one of the most dangerous areas in the country.
2. El Salvador
It may be a small country but it’s dripping in gang warfare and that makes it violent in the extreme. The government are obviously trying to throw education and information at youngsters, steering them away from gang life, however there are an estimated 25,000 people involved in gangs, with a further 9000 currently in prison. Current homicide rate stands at 65 per 100,000 people.
3. Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
Situated on the Western coast of Africa, the Ivory Coast is still developing and there has been much political unrest over the last few years, which all leads to crime and violence. Warnings are in place for tourists too, and with a rate of 56.9 per 100,000 for homicide, it’s not surprising.
This easy-going Caribbean island may be pretty on the outside, but life in the cities, such as Kingston, can be dangerous and violent. Back in 2005, Jamaica had the highest homicide rate in the world, but it has since fallen to number four, thought to be due to tougher punishments. The cities are where the highest levels of crime are, with 52.1 homicides per 100,000 people.
There are some amazingly beautiful places in Jamaica, but do take care should you go there – here’s some official advice.
Another case of small but deadly, this is South America’s most violent country, with a homicide rate of 49 per 100,000 people. There are many reports of violence within prisons and kidnappings too. The rate of homicide has increased steeply over the last two years.
Most of us are blessed with a safe living environment, and it really makes you think that not all of us live in a country where it’s easy and safe to walk around as we please. Of course, everywhere in the world has its dark side, and we should never take risks with our personal safety, no matter where we are, especially if the country is unfamiliar to us, e.g. on vacation.
Drugs, gangs, high levels of unemployment and poor quality education all seem to have a link to high levels of crime and homicide, based on the above results.