July 1, 2022

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What Is the Most Dangerous City in the World

3 min read
los cabos dangerous city in the world

It’s fascinating that “most dangerous” means danger only from human beings. It’s true, it can be hard to lock down on the “most dangerous” city for heart attacks, the number one global killer, or the “most dangerous” city for parasitic or infectious diseases (in the absence of epidemics, of course). All of the top ten most dangerous cities in the world are in Mexico, Brazil, or Venezuela.

Los Cabos, Mexico Is the Most Dangerous city in the World

According to the World Population Review, the most dangerous city in the world, as of the end of 2019, is Los Cabos in Mexico. Los Cabos is a blue-water, warm-sun tourist hotspot. It is also a battleground for drug cartels. Its rise to fame is rather recent, from being off the list in 2016 to top ten by 2017. 

In 2016, a major drug cartel leader was arrested. From then until now, the opposing cartels’ power struggle led to this spike in homicides even in this tourist-heavy resort town. While tourists are not among the targets, the possibility of running into the crossfire at one point or another is high.

Choosing the Most Dangerous City in the World

How is the most dangerous city in the world identified? First, the population has to be greater than 300,000 residents, since homicides are counted per 100,000 residents, to maintain a fair study globally. 

Second, the city has to be outside of an identified conflict zone, where deaths per 100,000 residents are much more likely to occur, and mass-killing weapons play into the picture. Once you take away the conflict zone, and non-human causes of death, you have your homicides as the main factor.

Homicide refers to the killing of a person by another person. There are three main legal kinds: murder, manslaugher, and justified homicide. Murder means that the killing was done on purpose (intentional) and planned in advance (premeditated). 

Manslaughter, on the other hand, can refer to killing someone by accident, for example by drunk driving or pushing something heavy out of a high window. It can also be a killing without premeditation, in the “heat of passion” or out of a sudden conflict. 

Lastly, justified homicide takes into account that a killing can happen without intention, premeditation, or fault on the part of the one who committed the homicide. This includes killing done in self-defense or in the defense of someone less able to protect themselves. It also involves (depending on the law) killing to stop a serious crime against oneself, such as rape, robbery, or injury. 

Los Cabos’s Security Efforts

Because of the spike in homicides in 2017, by 2018, Los Cabos fought to protect the city from dropping tourist numbers. They were successful to a degree, as tourists continued to flock to the city in 2018. 

Police and federal army presence increased, the number of installed CCTVs increased, and even the tourist areas, like hotels and resorts, took an active approach to maintaining security. Even a quick Google search of private security in Los Cabos shows multiple services for bodyguards and chaperones. 

Security is a sector that is thriving, for both good and bad reasons, in this most dangerous city in the world. 

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