Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Pleasantville

The Citizen's Institute for Insecurity Studies - which sounds like something you'd find in one of the early, funny Woody Allen films, but is really just our clunky translation of the word Inseguridad that Mexicans use to refer to crime and the conditions leading to crime - recently put out a survey on robbery in Mexico, in which we learn that the state of Querétaro, population 1.5 million, experiences 23 robberies "of all types" every day. We take that to mean everything from car thefts, to break-ins, to shoplifting, purse snatching, etc. Did we mention that the population here is a million and a half? Often, when we lived in New York, we would personally be robbed 23 times in a single day, which means Querétaro is just laughably safe, given that robbery is by far the biggest criminal threat here.

And yet every few months the city announces another disbursal of automatic weapons and body armor to the local police. We also noticed that the Green Party did surprisingly well in the last election, despite basically being a single-issue party, that issue being the imposition of the death penalty. We suppose if someone stole our iPod, we'd want to see them hanged, too.

Last year, 17,623 criminal complaints were filed with the local authorities here, which, when averaged out for population was the 14th-lowest in the nation (out of 32 states). Weirdly, that means we're more dangerous than Sinaloa (8th-lowest) and Guerrero (6th-lowest), which just goes to show you the kind of results you get when you filter out federal offenses like decapitating soldiers and rival drug gangs.

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