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Study Says Economic Impact Of Violence Reaches A Historic High In Mexico

MEXICO CITY — According to a new study, Mexico had one of its most violent years in 2018. The lack of peace had a historic high impact on the country’s economy, costing $268 billion. But the new government has an opportunity to change that.

“Unfortunately, we don’t have good news for Mexico: for second year in a row our peace deteriorated around five percent, mostly driven by a historical increase in homicide,” said Carlos Juárez, the Mexico representative for the Institute for Economics and Peace, a global think-tank based in Sydney.

The cost of violence per capita in Mexico arose to 41,000 pesos per capita, according to Juárez.

“The economic impact rose 10 percent from 2017, which was already in a historical high,” the expert said.

According to data from the organization, the records of homicide increased 14 percent, and 97 percent of crimes in Mexico are left unpunished.

“They get no justice, no investigations, no results. That’s really outrageous,” Juárez said.

For Juárez, corruption and drug trafficking to the United States don’t help in the equation.

“We clearly see the presence of organized groups detonating violence in certain areas, but it has deep roots in corruption, as we have systemic corruption in Mexico, and we have a shockingly high level of impunity,” said Juárez.

But some states, including Arizona-neighboring Sonora, improved dramatically thanks to the cooperation between public and private sectors.

“Our studies show that Mexico has the potential to build peace in the long term, but we have to start working together,” Juárez said.

Juárez thinks the new Mexican administration has the opportunity to learn from the mistakes in the past and build new solutions. He said the government needs to invest more in the police and judicial system, as Mexico has one of the lowest investments in these areas compared to other nations.

Rodrigo Cervantes was KJZZ’s bureau chief in Mexico City from 2016 to 2021.