HomeNewsBriefMexico Prisoner Origins Insufficient Basis for Anti-Violence Program Placement
BRIEF

Mexico Prisoner Origins Insufficient Basis for Anti-Violence Program Placement

MEXICO / 24 JUL 2014 BY KYRA GURNEY EN

Mexico's Interior Ministry has identified the neighborhoods where most of the country's criminals originate, a strategy aimed at determining where to allocate government anti-violence funding, but one that has some inherent flaws. 

In a document sent to Mexico's Senate, the Interior Ministry identified 3,234 neighborhoods -- concentrated in 95 of the country's 2,440 municipalities -- where the bulk of the country's violence originates, reported Excelsior. The ministry obtained this information by determining where the greatest number of the country's prisoners had come from.   

The neighborhoods highlighted in the report are located throughout the country (see Excelsior map), with the greatest number -- 412 -- in the Pacific coast state of Michoacan, followed by Chihuahua (229) and Jalisco (207). Other states with a large number of neighborhoods identified in the report include Oaxaca, Nuevo Leon, Veracruz and Guerrero.  

According to the Interior Ministry's Assistant Secretary of Prevention and Citizen Participation Roberto Campa Cifrian, identifying these neighborhoods helps the government determine where to implement violence prevention programs. Campa said the ministry also considered factors including the number of single-parent households, school drop-out rates and crime statistics when deciding where to allocate these resources.

1004107

InSight Crime Analysis

It is important for the Mexican government to have a database of socioeconomic indicators that help determine where to concentrate violence prevention initiatives. However, basing the locations of such programs on the current report could lead to the misallocation of resources. The report does not appear to distinguish between types of crime prisoners were found guilty of, meaning that some of the neighborhoods highlighted in the report could have high rates of drug use or other nonviolent crimes, but little presence of violent gangs or cartels. 

The idea that the report fails to tell the whole story appears to be supported by the fact that while some of the states highlighted in the report -- such as Michoacan, Chihuahua, Guerrero and Nuevo Leon -- are the sites of significant drug violence, others -- like Oaxaca and Veracruz -- are typically less associated with such violence. Veracruz has, however, seen a recent streak of violence

SEE ALSO: Knights Templar News and Profile

For President Enrique Peña Nieto, who has attempted to make addressing organized crime violence through preventive programs a key element of his security strategy, it is an essential first step to choose the right indicators to target the most at-risk locations.  

Another problem this report, and others like it, bring up is that while they may help determine where to allocate resources, they can also have the perverse effect of stigmatizing certain areas as hot spots for the production of criminals and violence. 

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

MEXICO / 17 JAN 2012

Statistics released by the Mexican government showed that criminal groups' attacks on army and federal police helicopters have increased since…

ARGENTINA / 30 SEP 2011

Reports from Argentina claim that a member of Mexican drug gang the Zetas has been arrested the country, after…

MEXICO / 16 APR 2015

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employees are being recruited by Mexican cartels to help smuggle drugs across the US-Mexico border,…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution Met With Uproar

6 MAY 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime launched its latest investigation, Venezuela’s Cocaine Revolution¸ accompanied by a virtual panel on its findings. The takeaways from this three-year effort, including the fact that Venezuela…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…