Honduras Is Still the Murder Capital of The World

Decapitations and mutilations are on the rise even as the overall murder rate declines

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The covered-up body of a man killed in a shoot-out between members of the Mara 18 street gang and police and military during an anti-drug operation lies in a house entrance in San Pedro Sula March 27, 2013. San Pedro Sula, Honduras's second largest city after Tegucigalpa, has a homicide rate of 169 per 100,000 people and was named the world's most violent city for a second year in a row. Lax laws allow civilians to own up to five personal guns. Arms trafficking has flooded the country with nearly 70% illegal firearms. 83.4% of homicides are by firearms, compared to 60% in the United States.

Honduras has the most murders per capita of any country, but it was a slightly less deadly place to be in 2013. As reported by Reuters, the homicide rate in the Central American country with a population of about 8 million dropped 6.5 percentage points last year. An average of 19 people were murdered per day last year, versus 20 per day in 2012, according to a United Nations-sponsored report.

Due to the influx of Mexican drug cartels that funnel U.S.-bound drugs through the country violence has been on the rise in recent years, reports. The report also indicates that there has been an increase in “atrocious crimes” like decapitation can be linked to the cartels, which have been known to commit the acts against rival gangs.