HomeNewsBriefHigh Insecurity, Low Reporting of Crimes: Mexico’s Toxic Combo
BRIEF

High Insecurity, Low Reporting of Crimes: Mexico’s Toxic Combo

JUDICIAL REFORM / 15 OCT 2019 BY JOSEFINA SALOMÓN EN

The reticence of victims to report a crime in Mexico, documented in a recent survey, has shone a light on historical levels of mistrust in the country's institutions as security challenges pile up for President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, nearly a year after taking office.

An estimated 24.7 million people above the age of 18 are believed to have been victims of crime across Mexico in 2018 while 78 percent of that age group felt at risk of falling victim to a crime. And in 93.2 percent of criminal cases, either the victim failed to report the crime or authorities failed to open an investigation.

According to the study, street robbery or muggings was the most common crime (28.5 percent) with extortion coming at number two (17.3 percent), followed by fraud (14.3 percent) and car theft (11.5 percent).

The figures for 2017 were slightly higher with an estimated 25.4 million victims of crime and nearly 78 percent of individuals feeling insecure. But the estimated level of failure to report crimes stayed the same.

SEE ALSO: Mexico Profiles and News

The results come from the National Survey of Victimization and Perception of Public Security (Encuesta Nacional de Victimización y Percepción de la Seguridad Pública – ENVIPE), carried out across more than 100,000 households between March and April 2019 by Mexico’s National Statistics Agency (Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía – INEGI).

The study did not focus on violent crimes specifically committed at the hands of organized crime groups.

InSight Crime Analysis

High levels of crime and violence have been one of Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (often referred to as AMLO) biggest challenges since taking office nearly a year ago in December 2018.

With some of the highest homicide rates in the country’s history recorded in 2018, Mexico is poised to register a new tragic rise in violence in 2019.

Although the most recent INEGI survey shows a slight improvement when compared to the previous year, the high underreporting rate should not come as a surprise.

According to the official study, 31.7 percent of crime victims said they did not report a crime because they thought it was a “waste of time” and 17.4 percent said they “did not trust the authorities.”

SEE ALSO: Why Are More People Being Killed in Mexico in 2019?

This is to be expected, particularly given Mexico’s long history of deep-seated corruption, official collusion with crime groups and systematic impunity.

Mexico was one of the worst-ranked countries in the 2017 Global Impunity Index (Índice Global de Impunidad – IGI) from the Center for Studies on Impunity and Justice (Centro de Estudios sobre Impunidad y Justicia – CESIJ) and the University of the Americas Puebla (Universidad de las Américas Puebla – UDLAP).

The report evaluates the effectiveness of the crime reporting and investigation process and how often it leads to justice for the perpetrator and/or the victim.

The factors taken into account include the functionality and capacity of the judicial system to act, the number of prosecutors, judges and police officers, and crime prevention strategies among others, all of which need work in Mexico.

One statistic, which states that Mexico's homicide backlog would take 124 years to solve at current rates, shows just how alarming the situation is.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

CONTRABAND / 20 OCT 2020

A massive robbery of nearly 38,000 cancer drugs from a warehouse in Mexico City points to a growing sophistication in…

MEXICO / 27 JUL 2011

A clash between two street gangs linked to the Juarez Cartel and the Sinaloa Cartel in a prison in Ciudad…

HUMAN RIGHTS / 30 MAY 2013

A group of 11 people reportedly went missing following a police operation at a bar in Mexico’s Federal District, calling…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.

THE ORGANIZATION

Series on Environmental Crime in the Amazon Generates Headlines

17 SEP 2021

InSight Crime and the Igarapé Institute have been delighted at the response to our joint investigation into environmental crimes in the Colombian Amazon. Coverage of our chapters dedicated to illegal mining…