Mexico posted its highest homicide rate in decades, with the government reporting Sunday there were 29,168 murders in 2017.
The number is the highest since comparable records began being kept in 1997 and is also higher than the peak year of Mexico’s drug war in 2011, when there were 27,213 murders.
The Interior Department, which posted the number, reported the country’s homicide rate was 20.5 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2017, compared to 19.4 in 2011.
But Mexico security analyst Alejandro Hope said Mexico’s murder rate is probably higher than the Interior Department statistics show, because the department does the per 100,000 count based on the number of murder investigations, not the number of victims, and a killing may result in more than one victim. Hope says the real homicide rate is probably around 24 per 100,000.
Despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s tweet last week claiming Mexico is “now rated the number one most dangerous country in the world,” there are several nations in Latin America with higher rates.
Brazil and Colombia had about 27 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants, still well below Venezuela’s 57 per 100,000, according to a World Bank report. El Salvador reported a rate of 60.8 for 2017.
In 2016, the most recent year for which figures are available, Canada had 1.68 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants or 611 homicides, according to Statistics Canada, while the United States had 17,250 homicides or 6.8 per 100,000, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Several U.S. cities — including St. Louis, Baltimore, Chicago, New Orleans and Detroit — had higher rates.