LOS CABOS, Mexico – After a dizzying rise in its homicide rate, the Mexican city of Los Cabos has been ranked as the world’s most violent city, according to a Citizens’ Council for Public Safety and Criminal Justice report.
The report states that the northwestern Mexican city at the southern tip of Baja California topped the 50 most violent cities list with a murder rate of 111.33 per 100,000 inhabitants.
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Caracas, Venezuela, ranked second, with a slightly lower rate of 111.19 murders per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by Acapulco, Mexico – with 106.63 – another of the 12 Mexican cities included in the annual ranking.
Violent crimes rose by 18.91 percent all over the country in 2017, but the case of Los Cabos is especially worrisome.
The city went from 61 murders in 2016 to 365 in 2017, which translates to an increase of almost 500 percent.
Before this year’s edition, Los Cabos – one of Mexico’s most popular tourist destinations due to its natural landscapes and well-developed hospitality industry – had not been included on the list by the Citizens’ Council.
Despite being the fastest-growing tourist destination of 2017, welcoming 1.4 million tourists, the city was the scene of several violent episodes, which reveals an increasing lack of security.
One such episode was the armed attack at La Palmilla beach in August that left three dead and two wounded.
The situation in Los Cabos is reminiscent of the one in the Pacific resort city of Acapulco, which experienced a golden age for tourism some years ago but whose reputation plunged due to rising levels of insecurity and violence.