Celaya, in the state of Guanajuato, leads the pack in the “2020 Ranking of the 50 most violent cities in the world”, which was presented on Tuesday by the Citizen Council for Public Safety and Criminal Justice.
In the presentation of the report, the organization warned that of the 10 most violent cities in the world, seven are Mexican: Celaya in the first place, Tijuana in the second, Ciudad Juárez in the third, Ciudad Obregón in the fourth, Irapuato in the fifth, Ensenada in the sixth, and Uruapan in the eighth.
The top 10 is completed by St. Louis, Missouri in seventh place, the Brazilian city of Feira de Santana in the ninth, and the South African Cape Town in tenth.
Of the 50 cities in the index, 18 are located in Mexico, 11 in Brazil, six in Venezuela, five in the United States, four in South Africa, two in Colombia, two in Honduras, one in Puerto Rico and one in Jamaica, said José Antonio Ortega, president of the Citizen Council.
“Mexico has been the world epicenter of homicidal violence for two years. It is not a coincidence. In 2019 and 2020 the worst crime control policy has been applied, by the Government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador,” said Ortega, one of those responsible for the study.
The report is presented in a context in which Mexico has recorded the two most violent years in its history with 34,681 murder victims in 2019 and 34,552 in 2020, according to official data.
The ranking of the Citizen Council is drawn up based on an analysis of official figures of intentional homicides in cities with 300,000 inhabitants or more that are not in a declared warlike conflict.
This is the fourth consecutive year that a Mexican city is the most violent in the world, according to Ortega.
“What is the pattern that distinguishes them? It is that in these (Mexican) cities we see intense, stronger activity by the armed militias of the criminal groups that are fighting for the place, not only because of drug trafficking,” explained the specialist.
The expert highlighted the contrast in Central America’s progress by noting that Guatemala City left the index in 2020 and a year earlier San Salvador stopped being listed, while until 2014 the Honduran city of San Pedro Sula occupied the first position.
It also reported that the average rate of the 12 Brazilian cities included in the current ranking is 47.27 intentional homicides per 100,000 inhabitants, while the average rate of the 18 Mexican cities was 67.09.
The specialist attributed the increase to the “failed” security strategy of López Obrador, whom he accused of evading the control of criminal groups despite his militarization strategy.
“Today the country is more violent than how he received it, today we have more intentional homicides in the country than when he received the Presidency (in December 2018),” he said.