Sunday, February 13, 2011

Guadalajara Worsens

A grenade attack on a bar in Guadalajara, Mexico's second city, killed six people and wounded 37 yesterday. In response, mayors in the metro area announced the creation of a specialized police unit. It's hard to imagine that this will be the key to stemming the rising crime rates in the area, but good on the mayors for at least trying to take things into their own hands, instead of merely lamenting the lack of support from the feds and the state government.


Anonymous said...

I'm curious about your reference to rising crime rates in the area. What is your source for this information? Do you think this rate is significantly different than rising crime rates seen in other cities in North America?

pc said...

Hi Anon,

There have been a series of episodes in Guadalajara in recent weeks that are unusual for the region--narco-blockades, mass arrests, and stuff like the cause of this . The Mexican papers have been full of those sorts of stories for at least a few months:

And aside from this intense recently spike, crime in Jalisco has gone up more gradually since a few years ago:

As to whether these are higher than in other areas of North America, it really depends which areas you are referring to, as NA is a big place. Guadalajara doesn't stand out among Mexican cities as particularly dangerous (by my back of envelope calculations, it's on pace for a murder rate of between 30 and 40 per 100000 residents in 2011, which is violent but far from the worst cities in Mexico), but it's worse than many of the safer cities in the US and Mexico.

Anonymous said...

I guess I was wondering about your choice of the words "crime rates" when referring to what looks more like unique incidences of violence.
That is, not what would affect la vida cotidiana of people living in Jalisco, other that what they see on the TV or Twitter.
Thanks for the reply. As usual you're an excellent resource.

pc said...

"Crime rates" probably wasn't the most precise definition--"episodes involving organized crime" would probably capture the essence of what I meant a bit better. As far as the day-to-day routines, I wouldn't deny that it hasn't reached a point where normal people are being affected, and this point it probably seems like much ado about nothing. But that's often the case with rising crime indicators, whatever they are. There's a lot of space between safe-city crime levels and the threshold at which people stop doing stuff that they usually wouldn't think twice about, i.e. going to nightclubs or driving alone at night.