Violence has many faces. It actually blooms inside homes, wanders around neighborhoods and crosses borders only to embrace the weakest and defenseless peoples.
The map of the most dangerous cities in the world has hardly changed over the years. It’s no wonder why cities in the Central and South America and parts of both Africa and Asia are considered the most violent ones worldwide. Violence feeds from fear and fear grows as the living conditions are at the lowest levels.
Dangerous cities of the world
It’s hardly surprising that travelers won’t visit war zones. But if you think about it, who would think twice till now before booking a trip to Paris! Violence comprises aggravated assault, murder, rape, manslaughter and any form of attack. It’s the way of expression during combats and the expected pursuit during terrorist attacks. Officially, what makes some cities more violent than others is the numbers. Stats show that war zones and cities controlled by gangs are never in peace. People are born and die without knowing what it means to be free. From Libya to Syria and from Sudan to Egypt, war has become a way of living. It’s outrageous to even think that one third of global homicides take place in Latin America.
The strange thing is that cities, which are considered dangerous till recently, have low crime rates. New York, for starters! 9/11 might have discouraged people to travel in the Big Apple, but it’s much safer in NY than in St. Louis. With over 170 homicides per 100,000 residents, San Pedro Sula in Honduras is now first in the list of the most dangerous places worldwide. Cities in Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil and Colombia feature high crime rates and are definitely the last places one would want to visit. Of course, the main question is not which cities are best for us to travel, but why some of them are doomed.
What makes some cities violent?
Is it a coincidence that some metropolises are among the doomed cities? Hardly so! The bigger they became, the more dangerous they grew to be. Urban growth, which was once the reason for fast development, became one of the reasons why crime rates went up. Cultural diversity, competition and hunger for prosperity were supposed to be the motive power for development. Some won, some lost! The cities became crowded, people stopped breathing and after a while they stopped chasing their dream. Poverty knocked on their door, unemployment hit the roof, and the hopeless became desperate. These are your reasons for crime to grow.
Not all people are given the opportunity to finish school. With lack of proper education and competition getting stricter and ruthless, unemployment became one of the greater issues. The Jean Valjean character at Hugo’s “Les Miserables” was not picked at random. Paying for stealing bread! It’s not odd that cities, which create the right socioeconomic conditions, thrive. Without prospects lying ahead, crime thrives. People are looking for easy solutions and fast money. Arms and drug trafficking became a way of making a living and put power in the hands of gangs. Police indifference or inability to control gangs gives room for more crime. What’s even worse is that crime is not always reported. Intimidated by the police force, which is supposed to be there to protect them, or just out of shame and fear, people don’t report all crimes committed against them. With crime going unpunished, crime grows even more.
Do we still stand a chance?
Is there any hope for the future? As long as there is political corruption, turbulence, civil wars, and rich people getting richer, the chances for better days are close to zero. When people realize that friendly environments and economic opportunities are for everyone, the planet will change. Until then, brothers will turn against brothers and the problem will just perpetuate.