MEXICO CITY — Mexico's volatile border city of Ciudad Juarez has the world's highest murder rate, followed by Caracas, Venezuela, and the US city of New Orleans, a Mexican security watchdog said Wednesday.
Ciudad Juarez -- the scene of regular and brutal score-settling between rival drug gangs -- has 130 murders per 100,000 inhabitants, said the Citizen's Council for Public Security (CCSP) in a statement.
Caracas has 96 murders per 100,000 inhabitants, and New Orleans registers 95, said the Mexican non-governmental organization, which based its figures on media reports and an FBI report for the United States.
Caracas was listed as the murder capital of the world in the September 2008 Foreign Policy magazine, quoting official figures of 130 murders per 100,000 inhabitants.
The Mexican NGO put Baghdad, Iraq, in 10th position with 40 murders per 100,000 inhabitants, and another Mexican border city, Tijuana, in fourth place with 73.
Cape Town, South Africa, was fifth with 62, and the east coast US city of Baltimore was in eighth position with 45 murders per 100,000 people, according to the NGO.
In Ciudad Juarez, 1,362 people have been murdered so far this year up to August 21, the NGO said, as violence spirals among powerful cartels fighting for control of lucrative drug routes into the United States.
The deployment of 8,500 troops in the border city -- part of a nationwide crackdown involving more than 36,000 troops -- has failed to quell the violence.
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