At the same time, the absence of goals has left Mexican officials adrift, grasping at any factoid as evidence of improvement. Even if the 50 percent goal is unrealistic, it's nice to have a clear objective.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
At Long Last, a Statistical Goal
The mayor of Juárez says that the goal of the recently initiated Federal Police action in the city is a 50 percent reduction in the number of murders in the city. Setting such an explicit goal is a bit dangerous, because the most important players --i.e., the killers-- act for the most part independently of the government. Consequently, even with a competent police force and well designed strategy in place, if the gangs want to keep killing each other, they will. Authorities can influence the calculus that is motivating gangs to keep fighting, but in a situation as anarchic as Juárez, it is demonstrably no easy task for authorities to know which levers to push.