According to the 2014 global report of Violence Prevention by the United Nations and the World Health Organisation, there were 475,000 murders in the year 2012, half of whom were killed by some form of firearms. According to Business Insider , Latin America is the world’s most homicide prone region. Going by the ratio of people murdered, it seems quite plausible.

Here are 20 of the world’s most murderous nations.

20. Zimbabwe: 15.1 murders per 100,000 people

Zimbabwe’s insanely high unemployment rate has led to widespread violence and crime. President Mugabe’s near-dictatorial rule hasn’t exactly helped matter either.



Source: NewZWire

19. Iraq: 18.6 murders per 100,000 people

This ravaged country has been seeing a steady rise in violent crime since the last two years, especially thanks to the rise of the Islamic State. Civilian deaths have been high since the war and continue to be a problem here.

Source – dnaindia

18. Panama: 19.3 murders per 100,000 people

According to surveys by the OSAC, 80% of the homicides here are by firearms. Notorious gangs and traffickers are responsible for around 23% of the killings here.

Source – nyt

17. Swaziland: 19.4 murders per 100,000 people

Violent protests lends the last remaining monarchies one of the highest homicide rates in Africa. King Mswati III rules with an iron fist and has absolute power, which of course doesn’t bode well for the civilians.

Source – poa

16. Namibia: 19.7 murders per 100,000 people

Rampant sexism and gender based violence has resulted in a skewed homicide demographic that especially targets women.

Source – headon

15. Guyana: 20.2 murders per 100,000 people

It’s pretty easy to get illegal firearms and machetes in Guyana, which has resulted in quite a high homicide rate.

Source – peace

14. Mexico: 22.0 murders per 100,000 people

The ravages of the drug war claimed more than 60,000 lives between 2006-12. Drug cartels kill each other off ruthlessly, with bodies even being hung along freeways to dissuade dissent.

Source – nyt

13. Dominican Republic: 25.4 murders per 100,000 people

Extreme corruption within official organisations has led to civil unrest and ensuing violence. It’s easy to score firearms arms here, and the drug trade is intrinsically linked with the gun runners.

Source – worldnomads

12. Haiti: 26.6 murders per 100,000 people

The prisons here are unbelievably over crowded and there’s also high food insecurity around here, leading to open violence in the streets.

Source – revintcan

11. Bahamas: 32.1 murders per 100,000 people

Armed robbery and violent crime has resulted in this tropical paradise qualifying as an armed conflict zone. The crime rate has gone up by a staggering 50% in the last few years.

Source – bahamaspress

10. Trinidad and Tobago: 35.3 murders per 100,000 people

This island nation is, for all intents and purposes, run by gangs. Frequent firefights between those fighting for power has led to a high crime rate and a lot of dead bodies.

Source – macleans

9. South Africa: 35.7 murders per 100,000 people

Between 45-47 people are murdered everyday in the nation with one of the highest crime rates in the world. Even children aren’t spared, with 2 babies being killed everyday.

Source – limitsgrowth

8. Lesotho: 37.5 murders per 100,000 people

With easy access to illegal firearms via South Africa, Lesotho faces problems with stray crime, especially considering that even petty criminals are well armed.

Source – csmonitor

7. Guatemala: 39.9 murders per 100,000 people

According to certain reports, 98% of killings go unpunished here. Poverty and weak law enforcement just add to the problem.

Source – mining

6. El Salvador: 43.9 murders per 100,000 people

Gang violence here has reached military proportions,with most kids being threatened with death if they don’t join a gang. They use ruthless techniques to terrorise residents.

Source – squarespace

5. Colombia: 43.9 murders per 100,000 people

Insurgencies, along with right-wing paramilitary groups and drug traffickers, are constantly battling for control over the production and transport of illicit drugs, which has left a trail of dead civilians in it’s wake.

Source – csmonitor

4. Belize: 44.7 murders per 100,000 people

With an ineffective police force and rampant violence from two notorious bloody gangs, Belize has seen a steady rise in crime and murder in the last few years.

Source – businesstech

3. Jamaica: 45.1 murders per 100,000 people

Although the murder rate in Jamaica has fallen by 40% since 2009, economic instability and organised crime makes sure that Jamaica still has an underlying violent tension.

Source – dailylife

2. Venezuela: 57.6 murders per 100,000 people

Protests against the government as well as several human rights violations have led to a number of deaths here. 90% of homicides here were through firearms.

Source – csmonitor

1. Honduras: 103.9 murders per 100,000 people

Organised gangs, police brutality and a conservative society has resulted in several civilian killings, including journalists, people from the LGBT community and human rights defenders.

Source – nyt