The triangle of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras is now considered to be the most violent non-war zone on the planet. San Pedro Sula, Honduras, was the most violent city in the world in 2012, recording more than three murders a day.
Guatemala City has also emerged as one of the region’s most violent. Between 2008 and 2012, more than 24,000 murders took place there. A similar dynamic of street violence and homicides has taken root in El Salvador, the home base of the Maras.
By contrast, in Chiapas during 2010 and 2011 fewer than 200 murders a year were reported. The number nearly doubled in 2012 to 392, but that’s still much lower per capita than the number reported in Mexican cities such as Ciudad Juarez and Acapulco, or even U.S. cities such as Chicago and New York.