Interesting study here in Spanish purporting to show that Latin America has by far the world’s highest homicide rates.

The study suggests that 40 of the most dangerous cities in the world are in Latin America and five of the top 10 are in Mexico.

The most violent place anywhere is the Honduran city of San Pedro Sula, where the murder rate is 158.87 per 100,000. Three Brazilian cities are in the top 20.

I have my doubts about any study that has 14 Brazilian cities in the top 50 and yet doesn’t include Rio de Janeiro. According to this, there are four US cities with a higher murder rate than Rio. (New Orleans, Detroit, St Louis, and Baltimore.)

As if to underline the randomness (or half-assedness) of these studies, here’s another one that I picked up online that doesn’t include any Latin American cities at all in the world’s most violent places. According to this, the top 10 most hair-raising places are all in Africa, Pakistan or the Middle East.

The truth, of course, is probably hidden somewhere in the two studies.

But here’s the top 10 most violent cities with their homicide rates, according to Mexican group, Seguridad, Justica y Paz.

RANKING DE LAS 50 CIUDADES MÁS VIOLENTAS DEL MUNDO EN 2011

1  San Pedro Sula  Honduras   158.87

2  Juárez  México  147.77

3  Maceió  Brasil  135.26

4  Acapulco  México  127.92

5  Distrito Central   Honduras  99.69

6  Caracas  Venezuela  98.71

7  Torreón  México   87.75

8  Chihuahua  México  82.96

9  Durango  México 79.88

10  Belém  Brasil   78.04