HomeNewsBriefMexico Impunity Levels Reach 99%: Study
BRIEF

Mexico Impunity Levels Reach 99%: Study

MEXICO / 4 FEB 2016 BY JAMES BARGENT EN

Less than one percent of crimes are punished in Mexico, according to a new study that highlights the grave structural and institutional weaknesses that have allowed organized crime to flourish in the country.

According to the new Mexico Global Impunity Index (pdf) published by the Center for Impunity and Justice Studies (CESIJ) at Universidad de Las Américas, only 4.46 percent of crimes recorded in Mexico result in convictions.

However, the report adds, only around seven percent of crimes are actually reported, which when taken into account means that over 99 percent of crimes committed in Mexico go unpunished. The study found the most common reasons for not reporting crimes were the amount of time it takes and a lack of faith in the authorities.

The report also ranked other countries around the globe by assigning impunity scores based on various factors, from crime reporting rates to the capacities of security and justice institutions. Among the countries included in the report, Mexico ranked as the second worst for impunity after the Philippines and the worst in the Americas, with only Colombia coming close to Mexico's score.

The CESIJ blamed a combination of political failures and meddling, weak, underfunded and corrupt institutions as well as the presence of organized crime for Mexico's impunity woes.

InSight Crime Analysis

The CESIJ report highlights perhaps the biggest obstacle to improving security in Mexico -- shocking levels of impunity. The reasons for this are varied and deep rooted, but can be traced back to state institutions that are overwhelmed and underfunded and often swing between corruption and incompetence.

Such weaknesses in security institutions mean many people consider reporting crimes to be a waste of time or even risky due to the possibility of reprisals. However, this is just the beginning of Mexico's impunity problems, which continue with a justice system that also lacks the capacity to properly investigate and prosecute crimes, meaning even those that are arrested will often not be convicted.

SEE ALSO: Mexico News and Profiles

When political meddling to either mask governmental failures or deflect attention from scandals is added to this, the result is a malfunctioning justice system in which people have very little faith.

The CESIJ report includes numerous recommendations for lowering impunity levels in Mexico, among them professionalizing institutions, improving transparency and inter-institution cooperation, and building truly politically independent justice institutions. While these are all salient points, improving Mexico's judicial and security systems will also require a budget, capacity and political will that Mexico has so far shown little sign of possessing.

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.

Tags

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

FENTANYL / 28 SEP 2022

Migrant encounters and seizures of the deadly synthetic opioid fentanyl are often erroneously conflated and linked together.

BELIZE / 1 MAR 2021

A recent drug plane interception in Belize has unveiled the role corrupt officials have been playing in facilitating the nation's…

DISPLACEMENT / 3 MAR 2022

Without the bodies, the exact number of people executed in broad daylight at a funeral in Mexico's western state of…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

‘Ndrangheta Investigation, Exclusive Interview With Suriname President Make Waves

2 DEC 2022

Two weeks ago, InSight Crime published an investigation into how Italian mafia clan the ‘Ndrangheta built a cocaine trafficking network from South America to ‘Ndrangheta-controlled Italian ports. The investigation generated…

WORK WITH US

Open Position: Full Stack WordPress Developer

28 NOV 2022

As Full Stack WordPress Developer You Will: Work collaboratively with other developers and designers to maintain and improve organizational standards.Demonstrate a high level of attention to detail, and implement best…

THE ORGANIZATION

Join Us This #GivingTuesday in Exposing Organized Crime

24 NOV 2022

For over twelve years, InSight Crime has contributed to the global dialogue on organized crime and corruption. Our work has provided policymakers, analysts, academics, journalists, and the general public with…

THE ORGANIZATION

Like Crime, Our Coverage Knows No Borders

18 NOV 2022

The nature of global organized crime means that while InSight Crime focuses on Latin America, we also follow criminal dynamics worldwide. InSight Crime investigator Alessandro Ford covers the connections between Latin American and European…

THE ORGANIZATION

Using Data to Expose Crime

11 NOV 2022

Co-director Jeremy McDermott made a virtual presentation at a conference hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The ‘Sixth International Conference on Governance, Crime, and Justice…