Peace Decreases in Mexico

April 17, 2017

By Ana Gomez Salcido

The peace decreased by over 4 percent in Mexico in 2016, compared to the previous year, driven by an 18 percent increase in homicides, according to the 2017 Mexico Peace Index.

The 2017 Mexico Peace Index, produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), provides a comprehensive measure of peacefulness in Mexico. It’s also based on the work of the Global Peace Index, the leading measure of global peacefulness that has been produced by the IEP every year since 2007. It is part of a series of national peace indices, which includes the United States Peace Index and the United Kingdom Peace Index.
This research, now in its fifth year, aims to identify the key trends, patterns and drivers of peace while highlighting policy opportunities.

The director of the Americas program for the IEP, Michelle Breslauer visited the University of San Diego (USD) on Thursday, April 13, to give a presentation about the key findings of the 2017 Mexico Peace Index.

“The increase in homicides can’t be pinned to one factor,” Breslauer said. “One factor is that violence has change. Instead of having a war between drug cartels, we now see more fights among gangs, like we see in the United States. And gang fights lead to more homicides.”

In 2016, firearms caused 61 percent of the homicides in Mexico.
“Firearms are not only a serious issue in the United States but also
“To see a large number of homicides caused by firearms in Mexico is concerning,” Breslauer added. “It also points to the need for us to address the illegal trafficking of weapons and the availability of weapons in Mexico.”

According to the findings, the more peaceful states in Mexico in 2016 were Yucatan, Nayarit, Tlaxcala, Hidalgo, and Coahuila; whereas the least peaceful states were Guerrero, Colima, Sinaloa, Baja California Sur, and Baja California.

The Mexico Peace Index report also includes an analysis of the economic benefits that will flow from a more peaceful society and provides a backdrop for strategic discussions among policymakers, researchers, business leaders and the general public on building peace in Mexico.

In 2016, the economic impact of violence was 3.07 trillion pesos, equivalent to 18 percent of Mexico’s GDP, or 25,130 pesos per person.

Breslauer mentioned that the opportunities to improve peace in Mexico include reducing corruption and impunity, improving trust and legitimacy in the police, implementing local strategies to reduce homicides, and strengthening local government and civil society.

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