Peacefulness in Mexico deteriorated 4.3% in 2019, largely due to a 24.3% increase in the rate of organized crime, according to a global think tank.
The Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) said in its report Mexico Peace Index 2020 that peacefulness has declined 27.2% over the past five years. Published on Tuesday, the report highlighted that the homicide rate in Mexico last year was 28 per 100,000 residents, seven times higher than the global average.
The IEP noted that the rate increase of 1.4% in 2019 represented “a much slower rise than the previous year’s increase of 15.7%” but highlighted that the national violent crime rate increased by 4.7%. The latter increase was mainly driven by an 18.7% rise in the sexual assault rate, the think tank said.
It said that Baja California was the least peaceful state in Mexico last year for a second consecutive year followed by Colima, Quintana Roo, Chihuahua and Guanajuato. Yucatán remains the most peaceful state, followed by Tlaxcala, Chiapas, Campeche and Nayarit.
The IEP said that only seven states have recorded improvements in homicide rates since 2015. “Baja California Sur has achieved the largest improvement, reducing its homicide rate by more than half to stand at 10.3 deaths per 100,000 people,” the report said.
The think tank said that statistical analysis shows that there are four distinct types of violence in Mexico: political, opportunistic, interpersonal and cartel conflict.
The overall economic impact of violence in Mexico last year – the first full year of the new federal government – was 4.57 trillion pesos (US $238) billion, the IEP said, noting that the figure is equivalent to 21.3% of national GDP. Homicides caused just under half of the economic damage.
“The economic impact of violence was nearly eight times higher than public investments made in health care and more than six times higher than those made in education in 2019,” the report said.
“The economic impact of violence was 36,129 pesos per person, approximately five times the average monthly salary of a Mexican worker. The per capita economic impact varies significantly from state to state, ranging from 11,714 pesos in Yucatán to 83,926 pesos in Colima.”
Despite the high cost of rampant violence, the federal government spent just 0.7% of GDP on domestic security and the justice system last year, the IEP said, highlighting that the percentage was the lowest among the 37 member countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.