Category Archives: Belize

Caucasian/Non-Caucasian Mixing Zones Around the World

The heavy Caucasian-non-Caucasian mixing zone is from North Africa across Arabia, and then in a belt from the Urals in the north down through the Stans to Afghanistan, Pakistan and North India in the south and all the way to Siberia and even East Turkestan in China to the east.

One can say that there is a White/non-White mixing zone of recent origin in the Americas mostly from Mexico south in Mesoamerica down to Latin America all the way down to Chile, Uruguay and Argentina in the south, with more admixture to the north and much less at the south. Mesoamerica is quite thoroughly admixed or mestized as is Colombia, Venezuela, Peru and Paraguay. In Colombia, the Whites are also quite admixed with Black.

There is a White/Black mixing zone in the Caribbean and the Guyanas down to Brazil. In the Caribbean, White genes have been pretty much washed out by Black ancestry, and the Caribbean is quite a Black place. The same has occurred in Belize and to a lesser extent in Panama, both of which are seriously mulattized. Even Dominican “Whites” would probably not qualify as White to most people as they seem to have too much Black in them to be considered White. There are definitely White Puerto Ricans though and there are many White Cubans. The Guyanas are so mulattized that there are not many Whites left, similar to the Dominican Republic.

In North America, there has not been a lot of White/non-White mixing. The heavily mixed people are mostly recent immigrants from Mesoamerica, mostly from Mexico. Otherwise, Whites in the US, Canada and even Alaska have not mixed much with Indians, Inuits or Blacks.

Hawaii can be considered a White/non-White mixing zone of extremely recent origin as by this time most of the population is seriously admixed. The admixture is generally White/Asian mixes of all different sorts.

The Whites in New Zealand, Australia and even Europe are not much admixed other than recent immigrants in Europe, though there is some Asian/White admixture in the Sami. Nevertheless, I regard the Sami as Whites. Black-White mixing in Southern Europe is very negligible, despite the rantings and false science of Nordicists. Iranians are White. Turks are a bit admixed, but still they are overwhelmingly White.

There has been quite a bit of White/Black mixing in South Africa and Namibia, more than you might ever expect. The Namibian Whites in particular are quite admixed. Quite a few are so admixed that one wonders if they could be properly called White anymore as they tend to be in the “border zone” of Whiteness.

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There Are Good Ruling Classes and Bad Ruling Classes

William Playfair Web writes:

TJF –

The ruling classes of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras leaves lower and middle income people few options but to leave

The ruling class is typically descended from the people of the European nation of Spain who are white or at least whiter than the native inhabitants of those countries. Hence, they are of higher IQs.

Do you believe higher IQ people rising to the top to become a ruling class is a good thing? I take it you are not a libertarian?

Yes, ruling classes exist all over the world. China, Iran, the Arab World, all of Europe including Norway, Sweden, Finland, etc. Japan, South Korea and Taiwan have ruling classes. As do New Zealand and Australia.

The difference is that the ruling classes of Latin America are stone evil. Those are the most evil ruling classes on the face of the Earth. I am convinced that the only way to deal with them is simply to eliminate them altogether, to take them out. That’s what the Cubans did, and they did the right thing. They wiped the Cuban ruling class off the face of Earth. Yes, they went to Miami, where they are now the ruling class of Miami, but the ruling class of Cuba was simply exterminated. That’s the only way to deal with these monsters. You just need to flat out get rid of them.

I include the ruling classes of Haiti, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, and Paraguay in this category. However, the elites in Peru and Venezuela often ruled via fake “socialist” parties that were actually members of the Socialist International!

These people are just evil. They do not believe in democracy, much like our vile and despicable conservative ruling class. Whenever the Left comes into power, these ruling classes overthrow it in some way or another. They used to do it by military coup, and they still do (see Honduras) but now they have other methods (fake impeachment in Brazil and Paraguay, fake corruption scandal in Brazil, economic sabotage and street rioting in Venezuela and Brazil, fake claims of human rights abuses/dictatorship and assassinations in Venezuela).

So there is really no peaceful road to socialism (or even social democracy) in Latin America. Maybe Lenin was onto something with his talk of parliamentary cretins. The Leninists have always said that it would be nice if the Left could take power peacefully, but the ruling classes will not allow the Left to come to power peacefully because power does not give up without a fight. Therefore the ruling class has to be overthrown by force. I really do believe that they are correct. Look what happens when you try to do it peacefully: Allende, Chavez, Gaitan, Zelaya, Juan Bosch, Cheddi Jagan, Dilma Rouseff, Arbenz, Father Aristide. It doesn’t work.

I would put the ruling classes of Mexico and Costa Rica in a different category.

Mexico’s ruling class is actually part of a revolutionary party that is a member of the Socialist International. The reason Mexico did not have a Leftist revolution in the 1980’s was because, as my mother put it when I asked her why not, “They already had their revolution.” Mexico has long had great relations with Cuba and for the entirety of the war, the Marxist FMLN guerrillas of El Salvador had their head offices in Mexico City itself. They have national health care, free education to the university level and most of the rural land is owned by the state as “ejidos,” which are rented out for use by any peasants who wish to farm them.

However the elite did steal an election from a Left candidate in 1988, 25 years ago. The Mexican ruling class will only go so far with their shabby socialism.

The ruling class of Costa Rica for some reason made a class compromise and a social contract with the people sometime after WW2. They also decided to get rid of their military altogether. The fact that Costa Rica has historically been one of the Whitest countries in Latin America may have been one of the reasons that they were able to put in a social democracy. Reagan ordered them at gunpoint to destroy their social democracy in the 1980’s. I understand that they took much of it apart, but a lot of it still exists.

I have not heard a lot of bad things about the ruling classes of Panama, Belize, most of the Caribbean islands, the Guyanas and even Uruguay.

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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.

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

Linguistic Map of Latin America

Map of the major languages of Latin America

This is an interesting map, though on first thought it seems unnecessary.

First of all, it makes quite clear how Brazil stands out as the Portuguese speaking state in Latin America. One could argue that this makes them odd man out, but if we look in terms of population, Latin America has a population of 570 million. 192 million of those are Brazilians. So 34%, or fully 1/3, of Latin Americans speak Portuguese. So what at first looks like Brazil’s linguistic isolation may not be so isolating as it appears.

All the Spanish-speaking countries can communicate well with each other, and there is a “neutral Spanish” that any educated person can use when conversing with any other educated person from Hispanophone Latin America. As long as you are doing this, you will both be understood.

Getting down to regional dialects, things do get complicated. I understand that Chilean soap operas, spoken in the rich dialect of the Chilean street, are dubbed in the rest of South America because other South Americans can’t understand Chilean street Spanish. But they are  probably well understood in Argentina. There does seem to be a “Southern Cone Street Spanish” that is harder to pick up as the latitudes move northward.

Bolivian Spanish sounds strange, but it’s probably intelligible in South America. It heavily inflected with Indian languages.

There is a general Caribbean Spanish that can be hard to understand.

The language of the Colombian Caribbean coast can be hard for even other Colombians to understand.

Dominican Spanish is notorious for being hard to understand. First of all, it seems to be based on Canarian Spanish of the Canary Islands, which is a very strange form of Spanish. Into this base went a ton of African words, much more than in the rest of Latin America. Further, it is spoken very fast. Dominican Spanish is pretty baffling to other Spanish speakers, at least for a while. Nevertheless, there is a more neutral form of Dominican Spanish that is widely intelligible to other Hispanophones.

On the streets of Mexico City, a very hardcore slang has emerged, sort of a Mexico City Street Spanish, that is pretty hard to figure out outside of Mexico.

Latin America is interesting in that the rest of the world seems to be learning “English as the universal language,” while Latin America is lagging behind.

I know quite a few educated Latin Americans who barely speak a lick of English. Latin Americans live not so much  in the society of the Western Hemisphere, but more particularly in the society of Latin America. And Latin America is extremely Hispanophone. Everywhere you go, most everyone speaks Spanish. Spanish is a very highly developed modern language with words for everything. Why bother to learn English? What for? To talk to gringos?

However, at advanced university levels, such as Master’s Degree and particularly doctorate level, increasingly there are requirements to learn English.

One would think that Mexicans at least would be required to take some English in school, right? Forget it. First of all, Mexican schools are crap, and they are broke. The elite and upper middle class steal all the money in the country, and the Libertarian/Republican dream minimal state/free market economy hosts horribly defunded and decrepit schools. It’s not uncommon to meet 20 year old Mexicans who dropped out in the 2nd grade.

English is typically not offered in Mexican public schools. It’s only offered in private schools, which is of course where the moneyed class above sends their kids, which is why they won’t pay for public schools (They don’t use ’em), which is why the public schools are crap. I’m sure many more non-Hispanic Americans in the US are taking Spanish than Latin Americans are studying English.

Hispanophones also often do not bother to learn Portuguese. Some of the educated ones claim they can understand it without studying it, but I doubt it.

A lot of Brazilians say they can understand Spanish pretty well (I think they study Spanish more than Hispanophone Latins study Portuguese), but when you start talking to them in Spanish (which I do on a regular basis) it doesn’t seem to work very well. Want to talk to a Brazilian? Learn Portuguese!

As we can see on the map, both French Guyana and Haiti speak French.

I was talking about Haiti with my liberal Democrat Mom once. The general conversation was along the lines that Haiti was all screwed up. She said, “Well, they’re all Black, they’re dirt poor, and worst of all, they’re in the Western Hemisphere, but they all speak French!” Indeed. What do these funny Frencophones think they’re doing in our Anglophone, Hispanophone and Lusophone Hemisphere anyway?

Further, the language of Haiti is not really intelligible to French speakers. It makes about as much sense as hardcore Jamaican English does to us. However, the Haitian elite often speaks good French. They also say they understand Spanish, but I’ve tried to talk to them in Spanish, and it didn’t go anywhere. Often they don’t understand much English either. Want to talk a member of the Haitian upper class? Learn French!

So the Haitians are rather isolated in this Hemisphere, but I’m not sure if your average dirt poor Haitian cares. I suppose they could always talk to the Quebecois, but no one understands Quebecois either.

French Guyana is also a French speaking country. It’s still a colony, and it has a very nice standard of living. Nowadays, colonies don’t even want to go free anymore, as it means a standard of living crash.

As you can see, British Honduras speaks English. There are some other English speaking islands in the Caribbean and some French speaking islands too, but none are marked on the map.

Dutch has pretty much died out in the Western Hemisphere, but it used to be spoken widely in Suriname and the Dutch Caribbean.

The main language of Guyana is probably some English creole, but it’s not shown on the map.

Indian languages are still very widely spoken in Peru (Quechua), Bolivia (Aymara) and Paraguay (Guarani).

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Map of the Romance Speaking World

Here is a very nice map of the parts of the world that speak a Romance language, in whole or in part. The main languages covered here are Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian and Romanian.

Nice map of the Romance languages of the world. Click to enlarge.

The heavy Spanish speaking zone is Spain, Rio Muni, New Mexico and Latin America except for Brazil, the Guyanas, Haiti and some Caribbean islands that speak French. To a lesser extent, it is spoken Spanish Sahara and Belize. To a much lesser extent, it is spoken in  parts of the US and in the Philippines where it is a dying colonial language.

The heavy Portuguese speaking zone is Brazil, Portugal, Angola, Mozambique, other parts of Africa and East Timor. In the latter countries, it is a lingua franca.

French is heavily spoken in France, Quebec, French Guyana, French Polynesia, Belgium and Switzerland, less heavily in much of Africa, especially Congo, the Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Gabon, Central African Republic, Chad, Niger, Mali, Togo, Cote d’Ivorie, Burkino Faso, Senegal, West Africa, Central Africa, Djibouti and Madagascar, less in the rest of Canada, and even less in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Louisiana, where it is a dying colonial language overtaken by national languages in Southeast Asia, Arabic in Northwest Africa and English in Louisiana

Italian is spoken heavily in Italy and less so in Libya and Albania.

Romanian is spoken heavily in Romania, Moldova and Serbia.

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Bad Place to Visit, Wouldn’t Want To Live There

Repost from the old site. This article has produced a tremendous amount of controversy, angry comments, and even, oddly enough, virulent hate mail. I guess I hit some raw nerves. I stand by my comments that these cities are some of the worst in the world, and, in doing further research on the Net, have found only further support for my thesis.

Some of these cities, such as Bogotá, for instance, have large wealthy districts that are apparently quite pleasant. If one is rich, one can make a nice life just about anywhere on the globe. But this is not important – what is important is how the majority live.

The title is a play on the line, “Nice place to visit, wouldn’t want to live there”, said about many less-than-desirable tourist locales. This post is about the worst places on Earth to visit, and probably to live too. The ratings were based on research done on the Internet in various places, including here and here.

I’m going to focus on the places that are dirty, smelly, crime-ridden, trashy, rip-off havens, unsanitary and dangerous (Third World), and avoid places that are merely depressing, unsightly, rude, etc. (First World). Why? Because I live in the US, and those Third World qualities are going to be the most disturbing to me. I’m also avoiding active war zones because everyone knows they are horrible.

To be fair to the “Third Worldists” out there, I noted that many people slammed various places in France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Finland, South Korea, Ireland Italy, the US, Great Britain and Australia for various reasons, mostly because they are said to be unfriendly, depressing, tacky, cheesy, boring, etc.

Detroit seemed to top the list as worst US city, along with Newark (though it had one fan), East St. Louis and New Haven (though some liked New Haven) were runners-up. Various small towns in the Rockies (especially Idaho) and Texas also were listed. For some reason, a lot of people hate Vancouver, BC in Canada.

To my thinking, many of the horrible cities below point out the catastrophe of Latin American, Indian, Indonesian and Philippine capitalism. In much of Africa, capitalism doesn’t seem to working very well.

For all its faults, impoverished Cuba certainly does not resemble any of these Latin American hellholes in any way, shape or form. I don’t think that capitalism in the First World is failing, but looking at many of the cities below, it’s hard to argue that capitalism is doing anything but failing in those places.

Some of the winners in the Loser Destination Contest:

Colon, Panama: A dirty, crime-ridden disaster of a city. The most dangerous city in Latin America, full of residents who seem like they would just as soon knife you as say hello. Other than the free trade zone, the entire city seems to be sprawling slum. Colon has no redeeming qualities. This city topped many worst lists.

Guayaquil and Quito, Ecuador: Guayaquil is horrible. A stinking, steaming, downright dangerous heap of a city with miles of slums. With armies of glowering gang members, this place is dangerous even in mid-day. There are garbage dumps everywhere with corpses laying out in plain sight and guns going off all the time. Quito is similar. Guayaquil topped many worst city lists.

Johannesburg, South Africa: How sad that this country now has one of the worst violent crime rates on Earth. Although popular with tourists, this city is downright dangerous. This city also topped many worst lists. This blog supports the Mandela government, but the problems of this tragic nation seem insurmountable.

*****
Lagos, Nigeria, or the whole country: This city, and even the whole country, seems to top everyone’s list. Garbage is everywhere, the city stinks, the poverty is horrible, animals are slaughtered on the streets, and it seems that at least half the population wakes up every morning thinking, “Who can I rip off today?” Up to 90% of the economy may be “underground”, off the books, or crime-related in some way or another.

Nigeria has what must be the worst government on Earth and the country is rated the second most corrupt on Earth. The national airlines are dangerous and not recommended. The ripoff attempts often start as soon as you land at the airport and won’t let up until you leave.

It’s best to assume that most, if not all, Nigerians you meet in Lagos are out to rip you off in some way or another and then proceed from there. The city is full of impostors, and you really do not know if anyone is really who they say they are. The police and Customs officials are all crooks and so is 99% of the government.

Most bank and post office employees are also crooked. Imagine waiting in line at the post office, and a group of swaggering gangsters with fake ID’s strut in to pick up their stolen goods reshipped from overseas. They go straight to the front of the line ahead of everyone else, pick up their stolen property, and walk away laughing, having paid off the Post Office clerks. Welcome to Nigeria.

There are Internet cafes all over the city, where 150,000 full-time Internet scammers ply their trade in plain view of anyone to see, and the government doesn’t bat an eye or lift one finger to stop them. In many cafes, 80% or more of the patrons are Internet scammers. Nigeria is now world-famous for Internet scams. Even out-of-work TV newscasters scam away in the cafes, trying to steal from Americans.

The scammers started out with the famous 419 email scams but have now branched out into lottery, romance, auction, roommate, orphanage and check-cashing scams. The scams are continuously evolving, and Nigerian con artists are widely acknowledged to be some of the best in the world, as they have been practicing the art for decades now.

On highways outside of Lagos, you can see numerous vehicles wrecked on the side of the road, or even in the middle of the road, some with dead bodies still in them or beside them. Thieves pick through the wreckage and rifle the corpses looking for stuff to steal. All of the roads are dangerous, as armed robbers often set up roadblocks to shake down travelers.

Nigeria is now a world center for counterfeit pharmaceuticals, credit card fraud and drug dealing, and a district of Lagos, Oluwole, is now a world center for top-notch forgery.

The FBI and the US Merchant Risk Council recently came to Nigeria and inspected 40 packages coming into the country from the US to check for stolen goods. 39 of the 40 packages contained stolen property.

When the agents arrived at a Lagos neighborhood and tried to arrest an 18-year-old boy for reshipping scams that targeted US merchants, much of the neighborhood – up to 100 people – rushed out of their homes to defend the local punk from Big Bad Whitey.

Although the country is awash in oil, the power goes out all the time because the government power company is so crooked. The power company has either stolen all of its own budget money or the power comes in, but the crooked company resells it on the side.

As with elsewhere in Africa, Whitey is blamed for all the troubles here. Hatred of Whitey is higher in Nigeria than in much of the rest of Black Africa and the White visitor will definitely feel it.

The degeneration of Nigerian society is complete, and the culture appears near collapse. Mobs lynch thieves in the street and kill them in public for as meager a crime as stealing a cellphone, yet crime rages on anyway. Anyone can just up and say they own your house, put it on the market and sell it and you are out a house. Law enforcement, courts and anything resembling government seem to be nonexistent.
******

******
Lima, Peru: When they tell you to visit Peru, they don’t mean the nightmarish capital. There are teeming slums as far as the eye can see, horrible crime (although not a lot of violent crime), pickpockets everywhere, and on top of all that, the sun never comes out. The fog mixes with the smog and the filthy streets to make a toxic brew. Lima made many worst lists.

But it has its fans, and the upscale Miraflores district is said to be nice. The execrable Shining Path took up their nihilistic, deranged war in this country for a reason – because Peru is a rotten heap of a country.
******

******
Medan (Sumatra), Jakarta, Surabaya, Indonesia: Jakarta is a reeking city with terrible pollution, open sewers and wrenching poverty.

Medan seemed to top many lists for worst city on Earth, though it has a few fans. It’s hot, dirty and polluted, with factories, thieves and leering, menacing men everywhere. There is also nowhere to stay, not that you would want to stay anyway. Besides Medan, the rest of Sumatra is much better.

The river running through Surabaya is so polluted you might vomit walking across the bridge. As you suppress your gag reflex, you will look down and notice that people are actually washing their clothes in this river.
*****

*****
Mumbai, Patna (Bihar), Calcutta, all large Indian cities, India: Indian cities are very dirty and teeming with some of the most miserably poor and wretched people you will ever see, but at least there is not a lot of crime. The Hindu religion keeps crime down because believers fear they will be punished by returning in the next life as something terrible, like one of the huge rats you see scurrying about.

Mumbai has pollution that is so bad that people actually get lung cancer from breathing the air. Mumbai, a stinking and sometimes dangerous city, made many worst city lists.

Patna is the sorry capital of Bihar, the poorest state in India. It’s dirty and miserable, and it’s almost impossible to even get a taxi to get you out of town, which means it’s hard to leave the place.

Calcutta is generally agreed to be one of the worst cities in India.
*****

Guangzhou, Chengdu, Shenyang, China: Deadly pollution, mostly from coal.

Bucharest, all of Romania: Stalinist pollution covers the whole country and everyone seems depressed.

Bali (in particular Kuta Beach), Indonesia: Hopes so high, reality so low. It seems everyone is out to rip you off. Surly locals hungry for money. Dangerous roads, nightmarish traffic, rude, leering men. When it rains, the sewers flood into the streets. Very high crime rate, hustlers everywhere. Most of the rest of Indonesia is pretty nice. Kuta is a tourist trap gone to Hell.

****
Manila, Philippines: A crime-ridden hellhole. There are armed guards everywhere, especially in front of banks due to constant bank robberies. Their nemeses, criminal gangs armed to the teeth, roam streets filled with prostitutes and transvestites.

It’s a town where everyone seems like they are out to rip you off in one way or other, and the hotel workers and cab drivers are all crooked. The latest advice is to have your Filipino friend meet you at the airport and head straight to their place, thereby avoiding all the ripoffs and con artists that seem to descend on every tourist. Traffic is horrible, and pollution is so bad it kills people. But some people don’t mind it.
****

Gdansk, Poland: Combine a high crime rate and daylight robberies with totally crooked, thieving officials, and you get this Polish city. However, a number of others said it’s just fine.

****
Mexico City, Villahermosa, Mexico: Mexico City is a dirty, polluted city suffering an insane, surreal epidemic of street crime, especially violent crime. Add 20 million people, stir well, bring to a boil, cover with a lid of otherworldly smog, and simmer.

Reportedly, tons of human waste are blown into the air every day, and much of the population has constant respiratory infections. The sewer system is reportedly above ground and more or less runs through lots of neighborhoods where many people are residing.

Villahermosa is a Mad Max-style, violent, crime-ridden disgrace of a city. There are stabbings and shootings galore here, even with a 10 PM curfew in place.
*****

Tangier, Morocco: This is a dangerous place with lots of street crime. That’s unusual for a North African country, but Tangier is so close to Europe that it is almost a part of Europe.

*****
Cairo, Egypt: Cairo has horrible pollution, smells terrible, there is trash everywhere, nothing works, there are armies of miserably poor people and it boasts some outrageously awful traffic. In the souks there are huge rats and wild, mangy scavenging dogs running about in plain sight. There seems no escape from aggressive, pestering hawkers. On top of all that, all the Customs officials are criminals.

The crime rate is fairly low, though. Thank President Hosni Mubarak. 25 years ago, Cairo was one of the great world cities.
*****

Bangkok, Thailand: This gigantic city has pollution so bad you need to wear a mask over your face. However, some folks like this city and say it has many positive attributes.

*****
Brindisi, Naples, Italy: No one seems to like Brindisi. It’s a sad, dirty, polluted and ugly city, with hostile, brawling, drunken locals, hungry stray dogs, belligerent drivers, horrible traffic, and miles of soul-killing tenements.

You would think that despite all of that, being genuine Italians, they could still manage to make a decent pizza. Forget it: even the pizza is terrible. Brindisi topped many worst lists, although it has a couple of fans.

I had never even heard of Brindisi and had to look it up on a map. It’s located in southern Italy on the East Coast, southeast of Naples. Naples has a great deal of crime, and many think this city is overrated as a tourist destination, although others say that, despite the drawbacks, it has its joys. All of southern Italy has a lot of crime, but it’s mostly property crime.
*****

*****
Athens, Piraeus, or the whole country, Greece: Greece, especially Athens, gets mixed reviews. A lot of people really hate Athens; others don’t. The detractors say the city is dirty, ugly, depressing, polluted, and covered with garbage and traffic. I was surprised that Athens made the list, as I had always thought it was a wonderful city.

The port city of Piraeus is a nasty place. The whole city smells like a giant sewage treatment plant, and the ocean offshore has a sickening color to it.
*****

****
Suburbs of Paris, France: These tragic towns, full of hostile Arab immigrants angrily refusing to assimilate to French culture or join French society, are a sign that the French model is not working well, at least for some folks.

There is a terribly high crime rate here, and cops and firemen often won’t go there because they get attacked as soon as they show up. These mournful towns are packed with angry, unemployed young Arab men who like to seriously riot every year or so, or even more often if the mood strikes them. Lately, they have been staging mini-riots every night. If only 100 cars are burned, that’s a good night.

Otherwise, Paris, of course, is one of the world’s great cities. But that doesn’t mean you might not walk into a subway station reeking of urine and see junkies shooting up in plain sight. But still, Paris is a must on any serious travelers’ list.
******

Brussels, Belgium: As with Paris, the districts with many Arab immigrants are quite dangerous and unpleasant, but the rest of the city is as nice as any big city.

Abidjan, Ivory Coast: With one of the worst crime rates in Africa (although it has plenty of competition), this city topped many worst lists.

*****
Bangui, Central African Republic: One of the worst cities in Africa, as bad as Lagos. The crime rate is totally insane. The locals will try to steal everything you own and even a contingent of armed guards will not be enough to protect you.

Your hotel room will feel like a war zone. This fiendish city made a number of worst city lists. Lonely Planet’s guidebook more or less tells you to avoid this city altogether. Here is a harrowing report of a visit to Bangui.
*****

Bamako, Mali: Mali has one of the worst governments in Africa, admittedly a race with a lot of competition. Bamako is a sick joke of a town, where the tourist surcharge is rigorously enforced, and the ridiculous, potholed streets are undriveable by any vehicle.

Guatemala City, Guatemala: A totally dangerous, dirty, polluted, terminal patient of a city, full of scary, heavily armed teenage soldiers. The soldiers are there to keep the teeming, crime-ridden slums that stretch as far as the eye can see, from overrunning the place. But this city has a few fans.

Belize City, Belize: This sweltering, miserable, impoverished, crime-ridden, very dangerous city is built on a swamp, with a jungle for a backyard. The beggars are aggressive and even menacing, and shady characters shadow you on the streets as you walk about. Cops are nowhere to be seen. This is one of the worst cities in the Americas. But the rest of the country is a great place to vacation.

*****
Sao Paolo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Sao Paulo is the industrial engine of Brazil. This major city is full of garbage and very dangerous. There are hustlers as far as the eye can see, chaotic streets that render maps useless, not enough cops and Godawful traffic.

Rio de Janeiro, the popular tourist destination with the killer skyline perfect for any postcard, is a deceptive place. It’s a very dangerous city with lots of violent crime. Street gangs armed to the teeth regularly shoot it out in military-style wars with the cops.

Death squads of off-duty cops funded by local businessmen roam the streets at night, murdering homeless, drug-addicted street kids and petty criminals with impunity in a sickening “social cleanup” campaign.

There are pickpockets and muggers all about, often in menacing, youthful gangs (especially on the famous beach) and they frequently operate in broad daylight. A dystopian horrorshow of a city.
******

Nairobi, Kenya: Unfortunately, this city is seriously crime-ridden. Even locals admit that violent crime has reached catastrophic proportions.

Caracas, Barquisimeto, or the whole country, Venezuela: The crime is very bad here, sadly, and there is garbage everywhere you look. This blog supports Hugo Chavez, but crime in Venezuela is a tragic, long-standing problem with no quick fixes.

Guinea-Bissau: There is no water, no electricity, no place to stay, and the only hotel is half-demolished.

San‘a’, Yemen: In a Dickensenian touch, children are actually chained up here in order to beg!

Moynaq and Nukus, Uzbekistan: These two cities broiling in a merciless desert have been ruined and turned into ecological dead zones by Stalinist pollution.

*****
San Pedro Sulu, Honduras: This sad town has a horrible amount of crime. Swarms of locals will attack you on the bus, trying to steal your luggage. You will have to fight them off if you wish to retain your suitcase.

Like the rest of this wreck of a country, it’s full of US gang members gone home to Honduras. People here are very poor and desperate. If you can make it to the nice part of town and afford to stay there, though, you can be quite safe.
*****

*****
Dakar, Senegal: According to some, this large West African city has horrible street crime – it is very dangerous. They say if you don’t have armed guards with you, don’t even go outside your hotel room.

However, others report that they spent a week there and found it to be safe, in fact safer than many American cities. Violent crime is reportedly rare, and the country is one of the most stable in Africa, and has been that way since independence.
*****

Port Au Prince, Haiti: This filthy, degraded, extremely dangerous and desperately poor mess of a city is best avoided at all costs. It sports open sewers, enslaved children, riots, killings and lots of other fun things. This blog did support President Aristide’s efforts to improve the tragedy of a nation called Haiti.

Lome, Togo: Criminals are as common as mosquitoes here, walking around fearlessly in broad daylight in this terrible city full of miserable people and crooked taxi drivers.

*****
Istanbul, Turkey: The 200% tourist markup is fully in force in this dirty, ugly city full of harassing, hawking, hostile locals and crumbling buildings, and you can scarcely find a merchant who does not enforce it. There is also a lot of crime here, including some violent crime, unusual for a Muslim city. The weather is lousy, but there are some pretty mosques to visit. However, Istanbul does have a fan or two.

The rest of the country is a great place to visit, has many fans and is one of the world’s top tourist destinations. Best bet for Turkey is just to head to the tourist spots and blow off Istanbul altogether.
*****

Phnom Penh, Kampuchea: This city has become a very dangerous, crime-ridden place. The gangs of little girl prostitutes add a particularly poignant touch.

*****
Bogotá, Colombia or really the whole country: Bogotá is one of the most dangerous places in the Americas but there seems to be agreement that Colon, Lima and Guayaquil are worse. Really, all of Colombia is dangerous as Hell, to be honest.

This comment about Bogotá was recently rebutted by a Bogotán blogger, with more comments here. His post aggressively taking issue with this entry is in Spanish, but my Spanish is good enough to get the gist of it. Also I am getting a lot of comments coming in from Bogotáns on the Internet aggressively objecting to the content.

The sole issue that these Defenders of Bogotá are taking issue with is my contention that the city is a very dangerous place. To be honest, Bogotá used to have a truly horrible reputation for crime, but in recent years, there has been a huge effort put into cracking down on street crime. For some more agreement that Bogota is dangerous, see here, here, here and here.

I will now attempt to prove that. There are twice as many murders in Colombia as in the US, and the US has seven times as many people. That means that the murder rate in Colombia is an outrageous 14 times that of the US, and the US is considered to have a high murder rate for the developed world.

Colombia has the highest murder rate on Earth, with Washington, DC and Johannesburg not far behind, but in the case of Colombia, we are talking about a whole country, not some festering city. Out of every 100,000 people, 60-70 will be killed every year. Defenders may try to argue that this is due to a simmering civil war, but 75% of the 25,000 homicides are merely of the criminal variety.

On an average day in Colombia, there are 2 bank robberies, 8 highway robberies, 72 murders and 204 assaults or muggings. You have a greater chance of being murdered in Colombia than you do of dying of cancer! Death squads made up of soldiers and off-duty cops roam the streets, murdering drug-addicted, petty criminal street kids, transvestites, homosexuals and prostitutes.

In fact, probably more prostitutes and homosexuals are murdered per capita in Colombia than even in the most barbarian parts of the Muslim World. Want to fly a plane in Colombia? Don’t. There have been 138 plane crashes since World War 2, with 2,745 deaths.

One of the most popular things in Bogotá is scopolamine. This drug is used by crooks to disable their victims so they can rip them off. It is sprayed in the face, dumped in your drink or spiked into a cigarette. Bogotá hospitals receive an incredible 2,000 scopolamine victims every month, or an astounding 66 a day. The drug knocks you out and can cause medical problems.

Colombia has one of the world’s worst road systems. Many roads are not even marked. Drivers are reckless and many cars don’t have headlights at night. Cows have a tendency to wander into the road.

Taxis are totally dangerous and are best avoided, if possible. Women are advised to avoid all taxis at night. Anyone is advised to avoid any taxi that already has someone in it.

In many cases, this is a criminal accomplice of the thuggish driver. In addition to getting scopolamine sprayed in your face, another popular scam is the “jump-start”: you are told that the taxi has stalled and asked to get out and help push. As you do so, the taxi driver leaves with your luggage.

Buses are also best avoided. Thieves haunt the buses, waiting for you to fall asleep, at which point, they rip you off. Certain bus lines are frequented by thieves offering drugged gum, sweets, food and cigarettes. After the drug knocks you out, they rob you blind. In addition to theft and druggings, kidnapping and extortion are also rife on buses.

In view of all of the above, it is nothing short of amazing that all of these Colombians are angrily protesting my characterization of their country as dangerous. Or perhaps they doth protest too much?
*****

Managua, Nicaragua: This dirty, crime-ridden, dangerous disaster of a city has a bombed-out look about it. This blog supports Daniel Ortega and his Sandinista Party and prays that they can ameliorate this mess.

*****
San Salvador, El Salvador: See Managua. Full of dangerous former LA gang members. Death squads roam the streets, slaughtering gangsters by the dozen, but for every one you kill, it seems five more pop up in his place.

This blog supports the FMLN’s efforts to reform this ruined land, but the crime here has become so terrible, one wonders if anything short of an act of God could make things better. In fact, I used to make contributions too the FMLN’s weapons fund via an FMLN agent in Los Angeles during the 1980’s.
*****

*****
Detroit, New Haven, Newark, Gary (Indiana), Hammond (Indiana), USA: Detroit topped all lists as the worst city in the US. An ugly, dangerous, depressing and filthy city with a downtown that looks like a war zone – a despairing district surrounded by miles of crumbling, abandoned industrial buildings, torn-down fences and rusting cars.

Newark is similar, with few to no redeeming qualities. It’s a frightening, polluted city with a postwar look of miles of weedy, trash-strewn vacant lots where crumbling apartment buildings have been torn down. It’s also a dangerous city with a high crime rate.

New Haven, despite the presence of Yale University, is similar. There are legions of homeless, begging drug users clogging the streets, and the crime rate is very high due to hordes of crack-dealing gangs shooting it out on the streets. Congress and Columbus Avenues are notorious for drive-by shootings, drug dealing and muggings.

It is reportedly the HIV capital of the East Coast due to IV drug use. A lot of the more respectable people have been moving out for some time now. Although much of the city is quite ugly, New Haven does have its bright spots, thanks to Yale. There are nice parts of town, parks, trees, etc.

Gary is yet another postindustrial Rust Belt train wreck of a town. A grimy town full of abandoned factories, overgrown lots, rusting fences, graffiti, barred windows and vomit. Go downtown and see tall buildings all boarded up, with no vehicles in sight and unhinged stoplights swaying in the wind – for all practical purposes, a ghost town. This was once a vibrant, working-class city, and now it looks like Road Warrior.

Hammond is similar, a suicidally depressing city lined with shuttered factories on the shores of Lake Michigan. Yet another Rust Belt post-industrial ruin.
*****

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: A collapsing, dirty, crime-ridden hellhole.

Osaka, Japan: I never would have thought that this city would make the list but according to my friend Tumerica, she says it is the worst city she has ever lived in. I tagged her with the title of this story. In blogging, tagging mean you are supposed to write on the topic – kind of like, “Tag, you’re it.” I will let her explain why Osaka is such a crappy place in her post here.

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