So much for my plans of a once-in-a-lifetime motorcycle trip from Panama to Vancouver Island. That route, it seems, has become Murder Alley.
While we're all becoming aware of violent crime in Mexico, it's actually Honduras that is now the murder capital of the world. There the latest murder rate is 82.1 per 100,000 followed by El Salvador at 66 and Guatemala at 41.4. Canada's is about 1.6 per 100,000. The Latin American average is about 26.
And, in Canada, you're actually safer in big cities than in the countryside.
According to a 2010 report by Statistics Canada, the murder rate is higher outside big cities, and has been for at least a decade. The study measured homicides in the country’s 34 census metropolitan areas (CMA) — urban areas with a population of 100,000 or more — and found that in 2010 the average murder rate was 1.5 per 100,000 people. For non-CMAs, which encompass rural areas, the rate was 1.9.
For the period 2000 to 2009, the murder rate in CMAs compared to non-CMAs was less dramatic — 1.81 to 1.92 — but still suggested that living in the countryside was more deadly, statistically. (It's worth noting that Canada's rates are still very low compared to those in the U.S. The 2010 murder rate in New Orleans, for example, was 49.1 per 100,000 people.)