Mexico strongly refuted a tweet this week by U.S. President Donald Trump saying that Mexico is the second deadliest country in the world, following which the organization that originally published the claim offered a correction.
While Trump is quick to jump on any negative news about or out of Mexico, seemingly for political purposes and to serve as justification for his campaign promise to build a wall between the two countries, Mexico’s Foreign Affairs Secretariat (SRE) was equally quick to respond.
Trump’s full tweet posted on June 22 reads, “Mexico was just ranked the second deadliest country in the world, after only Syria. Drug trade is largely the cause. We will BUILD THE WALL!”
The inference is based on the annual Armed Conflict Survey published last month by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), which ranked Mexico as the world’s second deadliest nation above countries including Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and Turkey.
Mexico was just ranked the second deadliest country in the world, after only Syria. Drug trade is largely the cause. We will BUILD THE WALL!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2017
In a press release, the SRE conceded that while “there is a significant violence problem” it argued that Mexico is far from being the second deadliest country in the world and cited data from a United Nations (UN) report to back up its claim.
According to the 2014 UN report, Honduras (90.4), Venezuela (53.7), Belize (44.7), Colombia (30.8) and Brazil (25.2) all have higher murder rates per 100,000 residents than Mexico.
The SRE communiqué charges that Mexico’s rate of 16.4 puts it “far below other countries in the region.”
It is the second time the SRE has publicly rejected the IISS research. After the report was first made public, a statement was released saying that “the source of the figures is unknown, it reflects estimates based on uncertain methodologies and incorrectly uses legal terms.”
The IISS itself responded yesterday by issuing a statement on its website to admit there was a “methodological flaw” in its calculation that required revision.
However, the organization “anticipated” that Mexico’s ranking would not change drastically.
“Our researchers are working to rectify this and we will share the results in due course. We anticipate that this will result in Mexico’s conflict remaining among the 10 most lethal in the world, by estimated fatalities attributable to an armed conflict.”
The IISS also clarified that it does not consider murder rates as a whole in contrast to the figures cited by the SRE.
“We do not measure deaths on an absolute or per-capita basis. We estimate deaths directly related to conflict. We do not provide an assessment of the levels of violence in any country.”
“We stand by the rigor of the overall research and analysis of the institute. We also endeavor, as in this case, to be as transparent as possible when we have erred,” the statement concluded.
The SRE press release also stressed that the problem is a transnational one that both countries must address and indicated its preparedness to cooperate on the issue with the Trump administration.
“As the very government of the United States has repeatedly emphasized, drug trafficking is a shared problem that will only end if they tackle its root cause: the high demand for drugs in the United States and the supply from Mexico (and other countries). We hope to continue working with the United States government to combat illicit drugs based on the principles of shared responsibility, teamwork and mutual trust.”
Source: Milenio (sp)