MEXICO: WELCOME TO HELL – Mexico Suffers More Deaths Than War-Torn Iraq, Afghanistan
Data from the 2016 Global Peace Index Report indicates that Mexico’s internal conflict led to approximately 33,000 deaths in 2015, a figure higher than those of war-torn countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Institute for Economics and Peace presented itsGlobal Peace Index 2016 report this week, in whichMexico is ranked 140 out of 163 countries regarding the national state of peace. The country holds the lowest score in Central America and the Caribbean and its state of peace is characterized as low, the second worse grade on a five level classification system. Only Venezuela and Colombia are ranked lower amongst Latin American countries.
The report uses a methodology based on 23 separate indicators of levels of peace pertaining to three broad categories: ongoing domestic and international conflicts, militarization, societal safety and security.
Several figures underline the persistent and high-level of violence stemming mainly from the country’s war on drugs. The most striking are the 33,000 estimated deaths caused by the internal conflict in 2015, which places Mexico above Iraq’s 32,000 and Afghanistan’s 22,170 deaths. Only Syria suffered more deaths from its war than Mexico.
The report also cites Mexico and Brazil for their high numbers of journalist deaths, establishing a correlation with the scale of organized crime in these two countries. And it ranks Mexico as the 26th country where violence has the most economic impact, behindVenezuela, Honduras and Colombia, respectively ranked 4th, 6th and 7th.
In a separate document released earlier this year entitled Mexico Peace Index 2016: Mapping the Evolution of Peace and its Drivers, the Institute for Economics and Peace established the economic cost of violence in the country at $134 billion in 2015, representing 13 percent of the GDP.
InSight Crime Analysis
As InSight Crime has previously written, the Institute for Economics and Peace reports go a long way towards depicting Mexico’s security environment as accurately as possible. Although the choice of indicators and their coefficient in weighing on a country’s state of peace score can be considered subjective, the studies offer insight into certain national and regional security trends.
One of these is the lack of progress of Mexico’s war on drugs, and the counterproductive consequences of a militarized security policy on the country’s levels of violence. This conclusion coincides with the increase in homicides observed during the first half of 2016.
But the main value of the Global Peace Index 2016 report may reside in its comprehensive world-wide data, which offers a striking and symbolic comparison between Mexico and infamous war-torn countries. As such, the report stands as a strong reminder of the significant social and political challenges Mexico faces on its road to stability.
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