Sunday, November 22, 2009

Fascinating Study

Mitofsky links to something I've been wanting to see for some time: a study (courtesy of Center for Development Research, or CIDAC) that breaks down the 2008 Mexican crime rate by region. One of the most interesting findings was that in terms of murder, Mexico City is actually pretty safe. It has a murder rate of 6 per 100,000 inhabitants, which places it below the figure for Mexico at large (10.5), below the Latin American average (10), below the world average, and not far from the developed nation average (4.5). Murder isn't the only criminal scourge upon a society, and Mexico City still suffers from high rates of robbery and kidnapping, but one often gets the feeling that Mexico City is just a step up from Somalia. Not so.

No surprise to the entities that were the most blood-soaked: Chihuahua (47.1 killings per 100,000 inhabitants), Sinaloa (29.5), Guerrero (22.8), Durango (21.6), and Baja California (20.5). Oaxaca is next on the list with 17.8, though its figure derives more from rural violence than drug killings. In fact, eight years ago Oaxaca was the violent state in the country, with a murder rate in excess of 50, so the 17 plus today represents something of a triumph.

Lastly, according to CIDAC, despite the increase in drug murders by somewhere between 3,000 or 4,000, Mexico on the whole was safer in 2008 than in 2007. And, echoing a point made several months ago by former AG Eduardo Medina Mora, it is significantly safer than it was in the 1990s.

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