Impunity in Mexico
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From the New York Times:

Life Where the Murder Rate Is Sky-High

In Latin America, we’re too used to death. But there’s a way to stop it.


… Punishment is rare. The Latin American countries included on the Global Impunity Index, from Mexico’s Center for Studies on Impunity and Justice, are categorized as nations of “high” impunity. Mexico is No. 2 on the list, after the Philippines. If we take into account the crimes that are never reported and remain unaccounted for, the two countries have an impunity rate of 99 percent.

People kill because they can get away with it. They kill to gain territorial control, to traffic drugs, to settle political disputes. The United Nations’ Global Study on Homicide establishes three types of murders: criminal, interpersonal and sociopolitical. Latin America takes first place in all three categories.

“Impunity” is a useful word.

The bad news for norte americanos is that the growing numbers of Latin Americans in the U.S. aren’t good at running orderly societies. Although there are some well-run Latin American countries, they are fewer in percentage than in, say, Europe.

The good news, though, is that Latinos, with certain exceptions such as right wing Lebanese like Carlos Slim, aren’t really that formidable. When confronted with a strong, self-confident majority, they tend to fall in line. When the U.S. Establishment decided in the 1960s that law and order was racist, lots of Mexican-Americans got into crime. When the American public fought back against elites and reimposed a strong criminal justice system, Latinos tended to get the message.

From Quartz in 2013:

COLD CASES 98% of murders in Mexico last year went unsolved

Roberto A. Ferdman

July 18, 2013

… Some 27,500 people were murdered in Mexico last year. That’s more than Colombia and Venezuela—combined. It’s more than twice the number of murders in China, and nearly twice the number in the US. In fact, it’s more than every other country in the world save for Brazil and India.

But the most alarming fact about the homicides that occurred in Mexico last year is that a paltry 523 have resulted in a sentence, according to a new report from Mexico’s central statistics bureau (INEGI). That means 98% of the 27,500 murders in Mexico last year went unsolved.

In two Mexican states, Hidalgo and Tlaxcala, not a single homicide case resulted in a sentence, and in some of the country’s most violent states, the numbers are only marginally better. In San Luis Potosi, 99.6% of homicide cases have not been resolved; in Sinalao, 99.2%; in Chihuahua, 98.3%. Even in the state with the highest rate of sentencing, Mexico’s Federal District, 81.4% of murders still remained unsolved.

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