Tijuana slips back on list of most violent cities in the worldFoto: Lilia Hernández
Foto: Lilia Hernández
TIJUANA.- The Citizen’s Council for Public Safety and Penal Justice (Consejo Ciudadano para la Seguridad Pública y Justicia Penal in Spanish) has compiled a list of the 50 most violent cities in the world, based on the homicide rate of more than 180 nations. Sadly, Tijuana has made its way back into the list, at number 47, although it is “outperformed” by eight worse Mexicans AND four American cities: Detroit, New Orleans, Baltimore and St. Lous. The data is from studies carried out during 2013.

Acapulco (3rd place), Culiacan (16th place), Torreon (18th place), Chihuahua (21st place), Ciudad Victoria (22nd place), Nuevo Laredo (30th place), Ciudad Juarez (37th place, and the biggest improvement on the list) and Cuernavaca (43rd place) have already made appearances on the list, in 2012 and years before, and one city was able to escape it; Monterrey, which dropped out thanks in part to lower homicide rates and a slight increase in them from Tijuana. Both cities basically switched places for 2013.

The border city has been on the list of most violent in the world before, in 2008 and 2010, some of the worst years for the city in terms of violence brought on by organized crime. The biggest surprise has been Ciudad Juarez, a city that took the top spot as the worlds most violent in 2008, 2009 and 2010, placed second in 2011, but then started to improve all the way down to 19 in 2012, and now in 37th place in 2013.

The organization also criticized during its annual report presentation how some countries embellish their crime statistics, especially in the case of Mexico and Venezuela, where the government lacks any real commitment to transparency in many areas. José Antonio Ortega Sánchez, President of the Council, was not optimistic about own country’s efforts in reducing crime, saying that “there’s little hope for a significant reduction in violence in Mexico when the new administration, like the previous one, lacks an effective policy and isn’t even able to put in practice its questionable programs like the creation of a new policy force (another one!), the national gendarmery [military-style civilian police force].”

The United States has its share of representatives on the list too, with four cities as part of the world’s 50 most violent: Detroit came in at number 24, New Orleans in 26, Baltimore at 36 and St. Louis at 45, two pegs worse than Tijuana.

The most violent city? The tittle belongs for a third year in a row to San Pedro Sula, Honduras, followed by Caracas, Venezuela.

What will 2014 bring? The case of increased homicides in Tijuana could stem from the changes in all there levels of government, as city, state and federal administrations were new ones last year, with the new city government only just beginning to implement a new approach to solving deep social problemas that are thought to give rise to violent crimes, especially through programs that are meant to bring better services and more attention to marginalized and low-income neighborhoods.

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