7. Fortaleza, Brazil • Homicides per 100,000: 83.5 • 2017 homicides: 3,270 • Population: 3,917,279 • As one of Brazil’s wealthiest cities, this eastern port city holds a significant cultural and business cache. But unlike Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, also cultural and economic centers, gang-related killings in Fortaleza make it the country’s second most dangerous city. In 2016, the city ranked 35th with 45.0 homicides per 100,000 people. And the city got off to a bad start in 2018 when 14 people were massacred in a nightclub in February. As with elsewhere in Brazil, effective police strategies to deal with criminal gangs have been elusive, partly because Brazil’s crime problem is linked to racism, deep economic inequalities, and inadequate municipal services in the poorest neighborhoods.
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