Monday, September 14, 2009

Five Thousand

Having spent last Friday, September 11, in New York, we missed Mexico's own September 11 milestone, as the Unofficial Drug Gang Killings Body Count officially passed 5,000 for the year! These guys could phone it in for the rest of the year and still shatter 2008's record of 5,600.

And yet, somewhat counterintuitively, when you take the long view, looking back over the past 20 years or so, Mexico's actually been getting safer.

Murder rates in Mexico dropped sharply to about eight per 100,000 residents in the two decades ending in 2007, concluded Fernando Escalante, a researcher at the Colegio de Mexico, a graduate school and think tank. Mexico's murder rate last year was about 10.5 per 100,000, Medina-Mora said.

Mexican homicides declined from 14,520 in 1992 to 8,507 in 2004, Escalante writes in an article published in the magazine Nexos. He admits that the numbers include a certain amount of guesswork. But he criticizes media reports and academic studies that paint Mexico as one of the most violent countries in the hemisphere.

El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Brazil and Colombia all have murder rates as much as five times higher than Mexico's, Escalante argues. The overall U.S. murder rate is less than six per 100,000 residents, according to the FBI.

"Mexico: It Used To Be a Lot Worse!" has a nice ring to it.

1 comment:

Jorge Arturo said...

Like my parent once said to me "is it that there is more violence or that we hear more about violence" free press has a consequence, knowledge we now know that we have a violent country. In older times people simply "disappear"