A new study from the Australian National University has ranked Latin America as the most dangerous region in the world and found that life expectancies are on the decline in certain parts of the region.
"The disturbing number of people being murdered in Latin America is now so high, it is dramatically reducing life expectancy across the region," news.com.au. reported. "Despite having just eight per cent of the world’s population, Latin America now accounts for about a third of the world’s homicides."
The report’s lead author, Professor Vladimir Canudas-Romo, told the publication: "Despite Latin American countries having seen progress in most other major causes of death, such as reductions in cancer and cardiovascular disease, homicide is still affecting people’s lives so much that there is little progress in life expectancies, particularly among young men."
"These are very worrying numbers," Canudas-Romo added. "Usually suicide rates are higher than homicides in every part of the world, but in Latin America homicides are much higher."
Fox News noted that the study showed that "more than two million people aged 15-19 in Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC) between 2005 and 2015 – with young men accounting for most of those deaths. The two most populated countries – Mexico and Brazil – account for the highest number of homicides in absolute numbers, however in El Salvador and Honduras in 2015 [there was] a staggering rate of 109 and 64 homicides per 100,000 people, respectively."
Latin America has seen an explosion in homicides, kidnappings, hijackings, and extortions in recent years as drug cartels, ineffective policies, and corrupt politicians have all contributed to the worsening conditions.
In January, new statistics released for 2018 showed that the number of murders in Mexico saw a 33% increase from the previous year, as the narco-state continues to become more violent.
A 2016 report from Verisk Maplecroft, an independent risk analysis firm, also found that Latin America is the most dangerous region in the world:
Latin America has been named as the world’s highest risk region for violent crime, due to the widespread prevalence of drug trafficking organisations (DTOs), kidnapping, extortion and robbery across 11 countries, including in its four largest economies, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Colombia. The findings come from new research released by risk analytics company Verisk Maplecroft, which evaluates the risks to populations, business and economies from violent crime in 198 countries.
Weak political institutions, widespread drug trafficking and ineffective police and security forces see conflict stricken Afghanistan topping Verisk Maplecroft’s Criminality Index. However, as home to six of the 13 countries rated ‘extreme risk,’ Latin America ranks as the world’s highest risk region, ahead of South Asia and West Africa. Guatemala (ranked 2nd highest risk), Mexico (3rd), Honduras (6th), Venezuela (7th), El Salvador (8th) and Colombia (12th) all feature in the ‘extreme risk’ category of the index. A further five, including Brazil (31st) and Argentina (43rd), are categorised as ‘high risk.’
A separate report found that for 2018, 42 of the 50 most violent cities in the world were in Latin America, with Tijuana, which is located along the U.S.-Mexico border, being named the most dangerous city in the world.