San Pedro Sula, Honduras
San Pedro Sula is the second largest city of Honduras and up until 2016, was the murder capital of the world. Kidnappings, extortion, murders and corruption are common in relation to drugs traffic. The worst gangs of the city are MS-13 and Barrio 18. These gangs rely on extortion revenue from the public and they recruit young children to conduct some of their brutal hits.
Homicide Risk: HIGH
For a whopping 5 years (between 2010 and 2015) Honduras had the highest murder rates in the world. Although it still doesn’t hold this title, there are new murder victims every day, all year round. Violence rises mainly from fights between gangs trying to gain control over the city’s areas. Innocent victims are often killed. Even if tourists are not a primary target of organised crime, you need to be careful as there is a high risk of getting caught in crossfire. Firearms cause 83.4% of homicides in Honduras, compared to 60% in the U.S.
Transport and taxis risk: HIGH
Robberies and even kidnappings are common along the transport routes of Honduras. Unlicensed taxi’s operate in the city, which are dangerous to take as they are often operated by gangs. Don’t travel by public buses which are often targeted in armed robberies.
Pickpocket Risk: HIGH
Walking through the streets of San Pedro Sula, there will be a lot of people after your money and valuables. Petty crime like this is the most common form of crime in the city. Avoid wandering alone and travel mainly by taxis recommended by your hotel.
Natural Disaster Risk: HIGH
Honduras is particularly susceptible to hurricanes, flooding and earthquakes. Drought and forest fires are also common. In November 2020, two major hurricanes hit the region in the span of about two weeks. It was one of Central America’s worst natural disasters and the hurricanes hit Honduras really hard, making thousands of people homeless.