Mexico’s deficiencies in security and justice coupled with high levels of corruption have landed the country in 60th place on the 2020 Global Impunity Index (GII).
The index measures systems of security, justice, the protection of human rights and structural capacity to come up with its ranking.
Authored by researchers at Puebla’s University of the Americas, the index rates 69 countries with the highest impunity worldwide. The only countries with higher impunity rates than Mexico are Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Guyana, Paraguay, Azerbaijan, Algeria, Morocco, Honduras and Thailand.
In the last report, compiled in 2017, Mexico ranked 66th out of 69 countries, while in the 2015 report it ranked 58th out of 59. But that doesn’t mean that Mexico is getting better, it actually means that the rest of the world is getting worse, researchers say. The improvement in position this year is “the result of changes in the position of other countries, rather than the implementation of effective actions to strengthen the rule of law and guarantee access to justice or protect human rights,” the report says.
One concrete step that Mexico needs to take is to increase the number of judges, the report concludes, which would help improve justice administration capacity. The IGI found that of the countries surveyed, the global average is 17.83 judges per 100,000 people. Mexico has just 2.17 judges per 100,000. The country with the least impunity, Slovenia, has 42.77 judges per 100,000.
And although Mexico has a high number of police officers compared to other countries with 347.76 police officers per 100,000 inhabitants, more officers does not translate into effective policing.
Police and justice system budgets need to be dramatically increased in order to improve both infrastructure and professionalism, the IGI found.
Presidents López Obrador inherited high levels of crime and corruption, the report says, and penal reforms have depressurized Mexican prisons, but they lose effectiveness when not coupled with a solid justice and public safety system.
On the positive side, the report praises Mexico’s Financial Intelligence Unit, which investigates financial crimes.
The countries with the lowest rates of impunity are Slovenia, Croatia, Greece, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Sweden.
Data used in the study was compiled in 2018 and 2019.
Source: El Economista (sp)