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Most Violent Cities In The World (PHOTOS)

San Pedro Sula

First Posted: 01/13/2012 5:43 pm Updated: 01/13/2012 5:49 pm

Mexico claims the unfortunate dishonor of having five of the top 10 most violent cities in the world, according to a study published by the Consejo Ciudadano para la Seguridad Pública y la Justicia Penal (Citizen Council for Public Safety and Criminal Justice), a private organization and wing of COPARMEX, the Mexican Employers' Association.

The rankings come as little surprise, given the rash of violence associated with Mexico's war on drugs. El Periódico de Catalunya reports that on Thursday a group of hitmen allegedly murdered a man outside of an elementary school as classes let out in front of dozens of parents and teachers in Ciudad Juárez, the No. 2 most-violent city.

La Crónica de Hoy notes that of the 50 most violent cities, 12 are in Mexico; 14 in Brazil; five in Colombia; 45 in the Americas and 40 in Latin America. And while Mexico holds down five of the top 10 spots, San Pedro Sula, Honduras, takes the bitter cake in the top spot, with 159 murders per 100,000 people, according to CNN Mexico. The U.S.'s most violent city is New Orleans, coming in at No. 21 on the list, with Detroit, St. Louis and Baltimore also making the top 50.

Below, check out the top 10 most violent cities in the world.

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  • 10. Belém, Brazil

    Pilgrims pay promises walking on knees behind the image of Our Lady of Nazareth (not in frame), during the 'Cirio de Nazare' (Nazareth Candle) celebrations, in Belem, northern Brazil, on October 09, 2011. Almost two million pilgrims participated in Brazil's biggest Catholic procession. (LUCIVALDO SENA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • 9. Durango, Mexico

    Picture taken on May 16, 2011 at the cemetery in Durango where the bodies found in several mass graves across the city will be properly buried. Durango, the capital of the Mexican state of the same name, has about 580,000 people and until recently, had not been one of the areas hardest hit by Mexico's epidemic of organized crime. But since April 11, 2011, bodies have been found in six mass graves, and the Army is continuing its search. (Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images)

  • 8. Chihuahua, Mexico

    A Mexican Army soldier escorts Noel Salgueiro Nevarez, aka 'El Flaco Salgueiro,' alleged member of the drug cartel The Pacific of Joaquin Guzman Loera, during his presentation at the headquarters of the Secretary of National Defense in Mexico City, on October 5, 2011. Nevarez was arrested during an operation of the special forces of Mexican Army in Culiacan, Sinaloa state, and according to a statement he is the responsible of the drug operations and violence in Chihuahua state. (YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

  • 7. Torreón, Mexico

    Mexican presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (R) of the Revolution Democratic Party (PRD) delivers a speech to supporters during a political rally in the northern Mexican city of Torreon, in Coahuila State, 15 June 2006. (ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • 6. Caracas, Venezuela

    Two men sit in front of giant portraits of women whose children were killed in Caracas, on November 19, 2011, exhibited to raise people's conciuosness on victims of violence in Venezuela. Some 52 five-meter high photographies were pasted on facades of poor and commercial areas as part of a project called 'Esperanza' (Hope), in the framework of French artist and activist JR's world project 'Inside Out', which aims to show unknown stories through the exposition of giant portraits. (LEO RAMIREZ/AFP/Getty Images)

  • 5. Distrito Central, Honduras

    A security guard closes a gate installed in a street of Tres Caminos neighbourhood in Tegucigalpa, on December 19, 2011. Honduras has become one of the world's most dangerous countries and is likely to have the highest murder rate in the world -- 86 per 100,000 inhabitants, according to the Violence Observatory in Tegucigalpa, a UN-backed monitor. On average there were 20 violent deaths a day in 2011, 85 percent of them caused by shootings. (ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • 4. Acapulco, Mexico

    A Mexican Army soldier burns about 945 kilograms of marijuana at the headquarters of IX Militar Region in Acapulco, Guererro state, on December 8, 2011. The drug was seized to alleged members of drugs cartels who operate in the touristic port city of Acapulco. (Pedro PARDO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • 3. Maceió, Brazil

    MACEIO, BRAZIL: Military policemen look at Colombian footballers during a closed-doors training session at the Corinthians de Alagoas stadium, 50 Km from Maceio in northern Brazil, 12 October 2004. (ANTONIO SCORZA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • 2. Ciudad Juárez, Mexico

    Mexican police agent looks at a man's corpse on a street in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico on September 9, 2010. Twenty-four people were reported slain in a wave of multiple killings that shook Juárez over a three-hour period Thursday night, officials said. (Jesus Alcazar/AFP/Getty Images)

  • 1. San Pedro Sula, Honduras

    A mother cries over her son's dead body, one of nine convicts killed in a battle between convicts at the Penal Center in Pedro Sula, 240 kms north of Tegucigalpa, October 14, 2011. Honduras stands to break world records with its murder rate -- estimated at 86 per 100,000 inhabitants -- putting it ahead of war-torn countries like Iraq and Afghanistan, a study said October 13, 2010. The study by the Violence Observatory at the National Autonomous University of Honduras said the murder rate was 43.7 per 100,000 inhabitants during the first semester of 2011, up from 36.6 for the same period last year. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

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