Monday, November 9, 2009

Support for Anti-Crime Measures

Mitofsky has measured Mexicans' support for various anti-crime tactics for several years now, revealing some interesting tendencies. First of all, a wide majority (just under 80 percent) is in favor of the army being incorporated in the police, which you could read as both a tacit approval of the army patrolling city streets as well as the militarization of the Federal Police. Similarly wide margins support increasing penalties for criminals (96.6 percent), police salaries (73.9 percent), and funds for squad cars and weapons (73.1 percent). More than 90 percent favor the use of police road blocks to check cars. Almost 80 percent also support the death penalty for serious crimes, a figure that has remained basically stable over the past three years. Most worrying, the number of Mexicans supporting taking justice into their own hands has spiked: 45 percent favor the personal administration of justice, compared to 38 percent a year ago, and 26 percent in February of 2007. Similarly, the percentage of Mexicans that support carrying weapons for self defense has gone from 39 percent in 2007 to 52 percent in the most recent survey. The poll is from July, before the Mauricio Fernández imbroglio exploded, so it'll be interesting to see what if any effect his supposed formation of "teams of cleaners" has.

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