Mexico: New Security Spending Not Delivering Gains

Caroline Kuritzkes, InSight Crime/Mexico News Daily, August 15, 2017

Homicide Rate Up In Mexico

The bodies of three murdered women, between 20 and 25 years old, in Jiutepec, Morelos state in Mexico. (Credit Image: © EFE/ZUMAPRESS.com)

A recent report by a think tank in Mexico underscores that increased security spending has done little to temper escalating rates of violence in the country.

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The July study released by the Ethos Public Policy Lab (Ethos Laboratorio de Políticas Públicas), a Mexico-based research institute, finds that in spite of the government’s 61% increase in internal security spending from 2008 to 2015, Mexico remains one of the most violent countries in the world, with 15 registered homicides per 100,000 inhabitants.

According to the report, the Mexican government invested 209 billion pesos (US $11.7 billion) in overall security in 2015. National security amounted to 40% of the sector’s expenditures, while justice and internal security comprised 39 and 21% of total security spending, respectively.

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The study estimates that the number of Mexican police has expanded by 275% between 2006 and 2015. As of 2013, Mexico had 367 police per 100,000 inhabitants, more than the United States, Brazil and Honduras, according to data from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

However, only four judges exist per 100,000 inhabitants in Mexico, a rate lower than that of El Salvador, Chile and Colombia.

The report also emphasizes that official figures vastly underestimate Mexico’s rates of homicide, robbery and kidnapping. Only one in 10 of these crimes is registered by Mexican authorities.

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