The week at a glance...Americas


San Pedro Sula, Honduras

The world’s murder capital: For the third year in a row, a Honduran town is the world’s most murderous city. According to the Mexican think tank Civic Council for Public Safety and Criminal Justice, San Pedro Sula leads the globe with 187 homicides per 100,000 residents, partly because a crackdown on drug cartels in Mexico has pushed some of the drug trade into Honduras. Forty-one of the world’s top 50 most murder-prone cities are in Latin America, including the rest of the top five: Caracas, Venezuela; Acapulco, Mexico; Cali, Colombia; and Maceio, Brazil. Sixteen of the cities are in Brazil, nine in Mexico, and four in the U.S. (Detroit ranked 24th, New Orleans 26th, Baltimore 36th, and St. Louis 45th). The report doesn’t cover war zones.

Caracas, Venezuela

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Blame the soaps: Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro says telenovelas that glamorize violence and drugs are fueling the country’s soaring crime rate. His government threatened this week to cancel shows found to be in violation of a 2004 law mandating “socially responsible” programming. “It’s a smoke screen to distract attention away from the real causes” of crime, said Roberto Briceño León of the Venezuelan Observatory of Violence, a watchdog group. Briceño León blames the soaring violence on a culture of impunity and an influx of illegal weapons.

Buenos Aires

Pot in the bags: Argentines are flocking to neighboring Uruguay to buy legal marijuana. Argentine authorities said that since Uruguay legalized the drug last month, they’ve stopped dozens of travelers returning from the country with pot in their luggage. Uruguayan authorities insist that they don’t want the trade. “This is not like the Netherlands,” said Uruguayan Tourism Minister Benjamin Liberoff. “We are not promoting in any shape or form tourism related to marijuana.” Few tourists have been arrested, since Argentina does not prosecute possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use.

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