Last year was another easy one in which to get away with murder: only one in 10 homicide cases were solved, a new study reveals.
Completed by the non-governmental organization Impunidad Cero (Zero Impunity), the study Impunity in Intentional Homicide in Mexico said that 89% of murders last year went unpunished.
The impunity rate began rising in 2008 after hitting a low of 54.7% in 2007, the study said. After remaining stable between 2010 and 2014, impunity started to increase again in 2015, a year in which there was a significant increase in homicides.
The impunity rate was 81.3% in 2015, 86.6% in 2016 and 89.5% in 2017 before declining 0.5% last year.
The high levels of impunity highlight “the limited capacity” of the criminal justice system to deter violent crime, Impunidad Cero said, adding that harsher penalties for homicide are pointless if arrest rates don’t increase.
At 99.6%, impunity for homicide was higher in Morelos than any other state. Chiapas was next with a rate of 99% followed by Oaxaca, Nayarit and Quintana Roo, where 97.8%, 97.7% and 96.6% of murders, respectively, went unpunished.
Eleven states had impunity rates higher than 91% last year while seven exceeded 95%. Four years ago, only three states were in the former category.
The lowest impunity rate was in Yucatán, where 27.1% of cases went unsolved. Aguascalientes had the next lowest rate at 45.5% followed by Nuevo León, Durango and Hidalgo, with rates of 61%, 64.8% and 71.7% respectively.
Impunity for homicides committed in Mexico City and Quintana Roo has increased more than 20 points since 2015 to 86.7% and 96.6% respectively, while the rate declined 13.8% in Nuevo León and 11% in Michoacán to 78.1%.
Impunidad Cero called on the federal government to prioritize improving the investigative capacity of the nation’s prosecutor’s offices. The offices are working with limited budgets and personnel, the NGO said.
The impunity that plagues Mexico extends to virtually all criminal activity. In a study published in September, Impunidad Cero said the probability of a crime being reported, investigated and solved is just 1.3%.
Source: El Economista (sp)