Florida's Dade County, which surrounds the Miami metropolitan area, was the nation's murder capital in 1984, according to FBI statistics released Saturday.
The county's homicide rate increased to three times the national figure, the FBI said. The figures showed that Dade County has 23.7 homicides per 100,000 population, surpassing all other major metropolitan areas. The nationwide rate was 7.9 murders per 100,000 persons.
Metro-Dade police blamed the steady stream of drug traffickers and the refugees who left Cuban prisons for Florida in the 1980 Mariel boatlift for the county's surge of murders in the last few years. The FBI's Uniform Crime Reports were based on calculations of crimes reported to police in nearly 13,000 jurisdictions.