San Pedro Sula, Honduras, was the world's most violent place in 2011, surpassing the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez, according to a new statistical analysis by Mexico's Civic Council on Public Security and Criminal Justice, a non-profit group.
San Pedro Sula tallied 159 homicides per 100,000 residents last year, followed by Ciudad Juarez, with 148 killings per 100,000. Both cities are major operational and strategic distribution points along the billion-dollar drug pipeline that funnels narcotics to consumers in the United States.
Ciudad Juarez had topped the grim list the previous three years.
The study found that five of the world's 10 most murderous cities last year were in Mexico; 45 of 50 were in the Western Hemisphere.
Other Mexican cities in the top 10 included Acapulco, with 128 killings per 100,000 residents, Torreon (88), Chihuahua (83) and Durango (80).
Four U.S. cities were ranked by the organization among the world's 50 most violent: New Orleans (57 homicides per 100,000 residents), Detroit (48), St. Louis (35) and Baltimore (31).
Overall, Honduras was the most deadly country in the world last year, with 82 killings per 100,000 inhabitants, according to United Nations statistics. It was followed by El Salvador (66 killings) and Jamaica (52).
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