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The deadliest cities in the world revealed

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Tijuana, Mexico, a stone’s throw from San Diego, California, has been named the most violent city in the world.

On one side of the fence is one of the safest cities in the United States, famed for its beaches, its thriving multiculturalism and its laid-back attitude.

And on the other side of the fence is the deadliest city in the world, where 2367 homicides took place last year alone.

Tijuana, Mexico, a stone's throw from San Diego, California, has been named the most violent city in the world.

Tijuana is on the border with the United States.

It is the second year in a row atop the ignominious list, compiled by Mexican crime watchdog the Citizens' Council for Public Security.

The overwhelming number of the cities in the top 50 are in the Americas, with only four elsewhere.

Here is the full list of the 50 deadliest cities in the world.

1. Tijuana, Mexico

More than 2000 people were murdered in Tijuana last year, a city of 1.7 million.

By contrast, 375 murders took place in Australia in 2018.

As with most cities on this list, drug gangs are the main culprits behind the bulk of the homicides.

Tijuana is one of the most common border crossing points for drug-smugglers and migrants into the US.

An offshoot from the Sinaloa cartel, the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion, has filled the vacuum caused by the arrest of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, mainly through acts of violence.

But it is not the major cartels responsible for most of the bloodshed. Instead it is street dealers battling for territory.

2. Juarez, Mexico

Second on the list is Juarez, which sits across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas.

With 1522 murders each year in the city, the Juarez cartel is famous for its public displays of homicide victims.

The border between Mexico and the United States. Trucks stream from El Paso in the US (left) as traffic is clogged from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, on the right. (AAP)

Instead of the bodies being hidden, the cartel's enforcer wing La Linea often mutilates them and puts them in public places.

The intention is to frighten citizens away from testifying against them.

Remarkably, Juarez's murder rate has halved in the past decade. In 2010, more than 3500 people were murdered there.

3. Uruapan, Mexico

Ranked eighteenth on the list last year, Uruapan in Mexico's south has seen a massive spike in murders.

The city was previously famed for its avocados, but has now been largely taken over by the Jalisco Nueva Generacion.

In August last year, nine dead bodies were strung up naked from a bridge.

"Lovely people, carry on with your routines," a banner beside the bodies read, beneath the group's initials.

Ten other bodies were found elsewhere that day.

In February last year, nine people were shot dead in an amusement arcade frequented by the Los Viagra gang.

4. Irapuato, Mexico

5. Ciudad Obregon, Mexico

6. Caracas, Venezuela

The complete collapse of the Venezuelan economy has gone hand-in-hand with a dramatic spike in violent crime.

Kidnappings, carjackings, and robberies are extraordinarily common, and those who resist are routinely shot.

So dangerous is the city that the US Embassy mandates that all employees travel to the airport by armoured car.

Caracas, Venezuela, has one of the highest murder rates in the world.

7. Acapulco, Mexico

In the 1960s, Acapulco was the beach resort of choice for Hollywood stars and the well-to-do American tourist.

But crime and pollution has steered tourists elsewhere.

Ranked number two on the list last year, Acapulco's crime was so bad that the Federales disbanded the local police and took over.

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And it appears to be working. Murder rates dropped from a staggering 110 deaths per 100,000 people, to a still awful 71.

A body lies in the middle of a busy street in Acapulco, Mexico. (AAP)

8. Cape Town, South Africa

The murder rate in Cape Town has become so bad that residents of the city's shantytowns and slums rejoiced when the military arrived.

Beset by gang violence, the army rolled in to the townships to take control and stop the bloodshed.

South Africa is the only country not in the Americas to feature in the top 50 deadliest cities on Earth list.

Crime has been so bad in the Cape Town slums that the military has been sent in to restore order.

9. St Louis, USA

St Louis was once one of America's biggest cities, hosting the 1904 Olympics and thriving off the back of a manufacturing boom.

The city had 856,000 residents in 1950. Now it has less than 300,000.

Last weekend alone, 21 people were shot in St Louis, six fatally.

St Louis has been the most deadly city in America for several years.

10. Vitoria da Conquista, Brazil

11. Baltimore, USA

12. Guayana, Venezuela

13. Kingston, Jamaica

There are 389 criminal gangs operating in Jamaica, most of whom are operating within the Caribbean island's capital city.

The overwhelming majority, according to the Minister of National Security, are disorganised, unsophisticated, and focused on protecting their own turf.

Those gangs are responsible for a substantial part of the city's 680 murders in 2019.

A soldier checks the backpack of a schoolgirl in Kingston, Jamaica. (AAP)

14. Feira de Santana, Brazil

15. San Pedro Sula, Honduras

The deadliest city in the world in 2013, San Pedro Sula has been plagued by criminals deported from US jails.

Gangs like MS-13 were formed in US prisons, and as the members were deported to their countries of birth, they brought the crime with them.

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A major cocaine trafficking waypoint, Honduras has seen street gang members murdering innocent civilians with impunity.

An American flag is burned during a protest in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

16. San Juan, USA

Still recovering from Hurricane Maria and ignored by Washington, Puerto Rico's residents are terrified from a surge in daylight murders.

The US territory declared bankruptcy after the devastating hurricane, and there has been an exodus of residents heading to the mainland.

Among those are 5000 police officers who have quit in the past few years.

The murder rate in the Puerto Rican capital of San Juan is ten times the US average.

17. Ensenada, Mexico

18. Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela

19. Cuernavaca, Mexico

20. Celaya, Mexico

21. Culiacan, Mexico

22. Natal, Brazil

Police enter a jail during a prisoner revolt in Natal, Brazil.

23. Salvador, Brazil

24. Mandela Bay, South Africa

25. Benito Juarez, Mexico

26. Cali, Colombia

27. Rio Branco, Brazil

28. Caruaru, Brazil

29. Guatemala, Guatemala

30. Zacatecas, Mexico

31. Barquisimeto, Venezuela

32. Chihuahua, Mexico

33. Distrito Central, Honduras

34. Detroit, USA

Detroit has frequently been at the top of the list of America's most violent cities.

35. Durban, South Africa

36. Manaus, Brazil

37. Palmira, Colombia

38. Victoria, Mexico

39. Guadalajara, Mexico

40. Reynosa, Mexico

41. Johannesburg, South Africa

A homeless woman is confronted by soldiers in Johannesburg, South Africa.

42. Minatitlan, Mexico

43. Morelia, Mexico

44. Cucuta, Colombia

45. Recife, Brazil

46. Valencia, Venezuela

47. Leon, Mexico

48. Maturin, Venezuela

49. Fortaleza, Brazil

50. Maceio, Brazil

Source: 9News

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