If you live in Africa and probably think that it is the most insecure continent, you are wrong.

It is not even USA with all its gun violence or middle east with its terrorism menace.

The most violent region on earth is Latin America and the Caribbean.

The region accounts for 39% of the world's murders, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) said in a study published on Thursday, AFP reports.

That amounts to more than 2.5 million murders in less than two decades, 75% of which were committed using firearms.

Robbery is also three times higher than the world average (321.7 against 108 per 100,000 inhabitants) and 41 of the 50 most dangerous cities in the world are found in the region.

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The murder statistics is particularly shocking as only 9% of the world's population live in the region, and yet it is the only one where homicide is the main external cause of death at 52%.

The cities of Caracas, the Venezuelan capital, Acapulco in Mexico, the El Salvador capital of San Salvador and San Pedro Sula in Honduras are the most violent in the world and all have a murder rate of more than 80 per 100,000 inhabitants, between 10 and 20 times greater than the world average.

"The region is an anomaly," according to the IDB, because violence has not declined despite increased levels of development in recent years.

Between 2004 and 2014, most countries in the region experienced annual economic growth of around 4%, poverty rates fell while citizens "became healthier and reached a higher level of education."

And yet the "most relevant indicators of criminality, victimization and perception of insecurity, remained high."

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