March 12, 2016

Top Ten SAFEST Central and South American Countries for Travelers

Note: Latin America refers to territories in the Americas where the Spanish or Portuguese languages prevail: Mexico, most of Central and South America, and in the Caribbean, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. Latin America is, therefore, defined as all those parts of the Americas that were once part of the Spanish and Portuguese Empires.   Source: Wiki Latin America

 If we were to go by this definition then both Spain and Portugal would be considered Latin America, however, since they are in the European nation we decided to keep them out of the list. Had we put them in the list, it would have pushed Ecuador out of the top ten, from number 8 to number 11. 

FYI: Of the 162 countries worldwide, no Latin American country made the top ten list of most peaceful, nor did a Latin American country come in the top 20, however Chile did make it on the list at 29 out of 162 as the most peaceful/safest Latin American country.

The index gauges ‘global peace’ using three broad themes: 1) the level of safety and security in society, (including crime rates), 2) the extent of domestic and international conflict and 3) the degree of militarization.

So how does the rest of Latin America measure up on the world Global Peace Index?   Let’s take a look. Btw, to see the entire list from safest to least safe, according to the Institute for Economics and Global Peace, click the source link below.

Source: Institute for Economics and Global Peace

1. Chile ranks - 29 out of 162
2. Costa Rica – ranks 34 out of 162 (The US State Travel Website Statistics says Costa Rica has more (reported) homicides against US Citizens than Ecuador. Costa Rica does have a much larger US Citizen population which accounts for the higher rates of crime. Costa Rica does not have a military.)
3. Uruguay – ranks 44 out of 162
4. Argentina – ranks 60 out of 162
5. Panama – ranks 64 out of 162 Panama does not have a military.)
6. Nicaragua – ranks 74 out of 162
7. Cuba – ranks 82 out of 162
8. Ecuador – ranks 84 out of 162
9. Paraguay – ranks 89 out of 162
10. Bolivia – ranks 90 out of 162

That’s the ten Latin countries with the best scores.  As you can see, many are barely above half way point out of all the countries listed.   Here’s the rest of Latin America, well below the half way point.

11. Peru – ranks 92 out of 162 (The source below says that Peru has less homicides (per 100,000 people) than Ecuador)
12. Trinidad and Tobago – ranks 97 out of 162
13. Haiti – ranks 98 out of 162
14. Dominican Republic - ranks 100 out of 162
15. Brazil – ranks 103 out of 162
16.  Jamaica – ranks 109 out of 162
17. Honduras – ranks 116 out of 162
18. Guatemala – ranks 118 out of 162
19. El Salvador – ranks 123 out of 162
20. Philippines – ranks 141 out of 162 (Philippines is considered a Latin America/Asian Country)
21. Venezuela – ranks 142 out of 162
22. Mexico – ranks 142 out of 162
23. Colombia – ranks 146 out of 162

And now to give our readers something more to think about we share with you what the US State Travel website says and about crime rates of US Citizens living in Latin American countries.  

Click here to see REPORTED deaths in last 6 years of U.S Citizens living in different parts of Latin America dated from January 2010 to January 2015 

Source: US State Travel

Murder Facts in Latin America and the Caribbean
Source – The Guardian International

  • The safest country in Latin America and the Caribbean measured is Chile, with just 2.74 murders per 100,000 people in 2013. 
  • Only 10 countries in the region have homicide rates below 10 per 100,000 people. These include Chile, Cuba, Argentina, Suriname, Peru, Barbados, Uruguay, Dominica, Costa Rica and Paraguay.  
  • When measured by homicide rate, 14 of the 20 most dangerous countries in the world are located in Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • The most dangerous cities in Latin America and the Caribbean are located in Honduras, Mexico, Belize, Brazil and Colombia.
Until next time, we leave you with a couple of related articles about crime and safety in Latin America.
We're an Expat Family of Five, Living Frugal, Healthy and Happy Abroad. We live in Cuenca, Ecuador and travel the Ecuador coast whenever we get a chance. We just adventured throughout the country of Panama for five weeks! Come along and enjoy some of our experiences with us!

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