Tuesday, September 30, 2008

People Are Dying to Get on This List

ForeignPolicy.com has come up with a list of 5 leading murder capitals around the world. Detroit, Baltimore, Bogota Colombia, and Rio de Janeiro Brazil are also in contention, of course.

City / Murder rate per 100,000 people
Caracas, Venezuela / 130
Cape Town, South Africa / 62
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA/ 67-95
Moscow, Russia / 9.6
Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea/ 54

Here's what they had to say about Caracas under Hugo Chávez:

The capital of Chávez country, Caracas has become far more dangerous in recent years than any South American city, even beating out the once notorious Bogotá. What’s worse, the city’s official homicide statistics likely fall short of the mark because they omit prison-related murders as well as deaths that the state never gets around to properly “categorizing.” The numbers also don’t count those who died while “resisting arrest,” suggesting that Caracas’s cops—already known for their brutality against student protesters—might be cooking the books. Many have pointed the finger at El Presidente, whose government has failed to tackle the country’s rising rates of violent crime. In fact, since Chávez took over in 1998, Venezuela’s official homicide rate has climbed 67 percent—mostly due to increased drug and gang violence. Ramón Rodríguez Chacín, who recently resigned as interior minister, claimed in July that homicide has dropped 27 percent since January—but experts say he’s just playing with numbers. As for Caracas, some speculate that its murder rate is closer to 160 per 100,000.

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