San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

U.S. warns citizens about crime in Honduras

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States on Wednesday warned citizens traveling to Honduras to take precautions against the country’s high crime rate, which includes the highest murder rate in the world.

The U.S. government particularly is concerned about the northern city of San Pedro Sula, which it considers “the most violent city in the world, with 159 murders per 100,000 inhabitants in 2011,” according to a State Department travel advisory.

“These threats have increased substantially in recent years and incidents can happen anywhere,” the statement said, adding that drug traffickers and gangs are active throughout the country.

The State Department said tens of thousands of North Americans travel annually to Honduras without incident, and there does not seem to be a connection between crime and victim nationality.

Since January 2010, 24 U.S. citizens have been killed in the Central American country, and none of the cases has been solved, according to the State Department.

The country of 8 million registered a rate of 92 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants in 2011, the highest in the world according to a report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

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