Murder Capitals of the World

People assume that murder capitals of the world would have to look like Detroit – more or less bombed out ruins. Not so at all. Some of the world’s murder capitals:

Belize City, Belize
Georgetown, Guyana
Johannesburg, South Africa

If you go to any of these places or look at them on Google Earth, they don’t look anything like Detroit at all. Georgetown and Belize City look pretty nice, plenty of pretty old Victorian houses. Johannesburg is nothing like a bombed out wreck at all; though clearly some areas are terrible, nevertheless, many neighborhoods look very good.

South Africa reportedly recently set a world record for homicides – going over 100 per 100,000. That’s 10/10,000 and 1/1,000. Imagine that. In a small town of 15,000 people, 15 of them would be murdered every single year. Every year, you would probably personally know one of the murder victims.

The 100/100,000 rate seems to be some sort of a ceiling effect. Once you go that high, you really can’t go any higher in peacetime. If it does go any higher, you probably don’t even have peacetime anymore, you have something like Somalia – warlordism with warlord gangs going at it all the time. Whatever the Hell that is, it’s not really peacetime anymore. Since South Africa hit that ceiling effect, the homicide rate has been declining.

All of these cities, of course, share a high% Black population. The epicenter for Georgetown’s homicides is Tiger Bay, 100% Black.

12 Comments

Filed under Africa, Americas, Belize, Central America, Crime, Guyana, Latin America, Regional, South Africa, South America

12 responses to “Murder Capitals of the World

  1. Tulio

    “All of these cities, of course, share a high% Black population. The epicenter for Georgetown’s homicides is Tiger Bay, 100% Black.”

    Since you had to pull out the race card here, it seems as though you specifically selected cities for the black population. You could’ve thrown in Ciudad Juarez(which I think is #1 in the world outside of a warzone) which has no blacks. There’s also San Salvador and Tegucigalpa which are worst than Belize City and have no blacks either. There are a few blacks in Honduras along the coast, they’re called Garifunas. Caracas is the worst in Latin America outside of Mexico and Central America. Yeah, I know you’ll say, “but there’s blacks in Venezuela and they must be responsible for it!” But most of them are Mestizos.

    • Thank you for your clarification of this matter, Tulio. It appears that some mestizo cities in Latin America also have incredibly high crime rates. Venezuelans are part White, part Indian and part Black, but the Black % in their blood is not high.

  2. I believe New Orleans topped the list as murder capital of the US in 2010, & some year previous also.
    WAIT!!!
    I found the top 10 murder per capita list for 2010 in the Times Picayune-

    New Orleans tops the list at 52 per 100,000 residents, then Richmond, St Louis, Detroit, Baltimore, Baton Rouge, Flint, Newark, Birmingham & Hartford Conn.
    I’ll leave you to discuss the racial demographics & what not that may contribute to these rankings.
    Robert, I was born & raised in the Fresno area (Clovis) not too far from you, wasn’t Fresno one of the top 10 or 20 murder capitals of the US in the 70’s & early 80’s?

    • I have been to Clovis many times. I used to live at Olive and Peach in Fresno. Know where that is? It’s now a Section 8 slum. :(

      I think Fresno was up there for a while in the 90’s.

      Ever been to Madera? That’s where I live.

      I don’t know about Birmingham, but a commonality with the others is lots of Black people.

      • I grew up near Pollasky & 3rd, old downtown Clovis. Clovis was still a bit of a ‘cowtown’ when I left in 1983, my mom had a BBQ restaurant on Clovis Ave (across from the rodeo grounds), & my dad owned ‘Harold’s Towing’ service right down the street.
        Madera was mostly olives & grapes being quickly uprooted to build tract houses as I recall.
        Olive & Peach was mostly cheap apartments, & isn’t the Social security office for Fresno near there?
        I haven’t been back to the ‘Big Valley’ except for once in 2001 to say ‘So long I’m leaving the USA!’ to my sister that lives near the ‘Bluffs’ off Herndon in Fresno & my brother who still lives in Clovis.
        Is it true the Fresno area is now ‘crack/meth’ central?

        • No, the SS office is downtown. The IRS office is not far.

          Clovis is still a bit of a cowtown, actually. Madera is just Mexico, that’s all it is.

          There is a lot of meth in Fresno, yes. Also here in Madera, for sure. A guest was over at my place a while back and offered me some. A guy who was tweaked out used to come around here a lot and try to hang out. I still see him around. There is hardcore White tweaker who must be in his 40’s who is a neighbor. He’s pretty out there, not exactly crazy, but you know how longterm tweakers get? I wouldn’t say he’s mentally ill, but he’s not completely psychologically normal. Some of the local gangbangers have started getting into that stuff pretty heavily too, and they started stealing stuff for money for speed. The guy who used to live upstairs was deep into speed something awful. So yeah, it’s around all right!

          I don’t do the drug. Only took it 3 times or so, and after the last time I said never again. The crash is truly horrific, but the high is pretty nice.

  3. James Schipper

    Dear Robert
    It will come as a surprise to many Americans that the US is one of the safest countries in the Western Hemisphere. The murder rate in the US is about 5/100,000, while in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Venezuela and Columbia, it is around 50/100,000. In Brazil, it is about 27/100,000. I’m happy to report that the Dutch rate is about 1/100,000.

    Some white countries also have extremely high murder rates, notably Russia and Latvia. What is certain is that the murder rate can be affected dramatically by determined authorities. For instance, the state of São Paulo had about 14,000 murders per year a decade ago, but today it has around 6000. In one decade, it more than halved the murder rate! In the rest of Brazil, the murder rate went up in the last decade.

    If the murder rate is 100/100,000, and life expectancy around 70, then about 7% of the population will perish as a result of murder, about 1 out of every 14 people. In other words, even with an extremely high murder rate, the bulk of people die from natural causes or accidents.

    Hoping that you won’t be murdered today. James

    • Tulio

      This is a point I’m always trying to make. America is a pretty safe country by global standards. Could have something to do with the fact that we lock up more people than any other nation, but in the end the result is the same: I can walk the streets at night and crime here is not out of control. Even the worse ghetto doesn’t even come close to Caracas or Juarez.

      On top of that, little of the murder here is random. Most the time it’s over drugs or some type of acquaintance murder. In other words, you really have to go out of your way looking for trouble.

      • Bay Area Guy

        @ Tulio

        Depends on what you mean by “global standards.”

        If by “global standards” you mean 3rd world Central and South American countries, then yes, the United States is definitely a very safe country.

        However, if you’re comparing the United States to the majority of European and Asian countries, then they definitely fall short in this regard.

        If you have data on this, I would be interested to see it.

        • Tulio

          Yeah, that’s a fair point. But I think 5/100,000 is pretty low. Especially considering that most that 5 didn’t die in random acts of violence.

  4. johnUK

    South Africa also has one of the highest numbers of rape in the world certainly in an industrialised country where 1 in 4 South Africans admit to have committed rape.

    http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1906000,00.html

    Not to mention the infamous murders and massacres of Boer farmers.

    South Africa makes a good cause against the egalitarian, leftist cultural “environment or race” argument that controls western science, academia and the media since the end of WW2.
    Not that I am an advocate of pre-WW2 eugenics.

  5. Gerry

    Hi Robert.

    They sometimes include traffic accidents/attempted murders in South Africa’s figures, I suspect this is what the number you gave is (have you a source?). The highest intentional homicide rate for that country was probably 70 per 100,000 in 1994 which is still a shitload, but its come down significantly over that time to 32 as of 2010. Such is the improvement that a friend of mine moved from the US to a Jo’burg suburb about 18 months back. Johannesburg is ridiculously safer than it used to be, she wouldn’t have done this 10 years ago.

    Colombia’s was 79 in 1991 or 89 in 1994 according to either the police or health departments respectively. This is *Colombia* however – the numbers are likely more conservative than other countries that record lots of murders due to an active, armed conflict. Countries that record the higher murder rates generally tend not to have substantial political atrocities going on and are more stable.

    Honduras seems to be challenging the highest recorded rates now. There’s a bit of political violence there albeit not on Colombia’s level, but it’s undeniably there.

    Somalia’s is *1.5* according to the UN. I think any country that has significant conflict-related violence has incomplete murder/intentional homicide rates, especially if the violence is primarily rural. The violence in Somalia seems to center largely around Mogadishu but obviously the 1.5 is ridiculous, Colombia’s *conflict* violence is mainly rural but lots of people *disappear* in the cities as well. I’m not 100% sure that Medellin or Cali really are safer than Caracas, or Central American cities (with the possible exceptions of La Ceiba and San Pedro Sula. Again, as with Caracas, I’m personally not 100% either way it’s difficult to tell).

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