October 24, 2018 Print

México Evalúa is finding smart, innovative ways to patch the holes in Mexico’s efforts to curb high murder rates in Mexico City. One example: by strategically focusing police efforts on statistical “hot spots,” instead of spreading out officers on every corner, México Evalúa believes that violence can be reduced.

Based on data from the Secretariat of Public Security of Mexico City, México Evalúa's team mapped 5,013 reported murders that occurred between 2009 and 2016. Crime rates have been soaring in Mexico City, and officials are dispatching helicopters in an attempt to intimidate criminals. Between January and April of 2018, officials recorded 382 intentional homicides. The problem is not isolated to Mexico City, in 2017, there were well above 25,000 reported murders throughout Mexico.

In September, México Evalúa held a multidisciplinary event including a project “shark tank,” theater performances and documentary screenings to present their study, "5,013 Homicides in Mexico City." The event brought together over 400 experts, policymakers, students, journalists, and community members to find creative solutions to the homicide issue in Mexico City.

In another study that focuses on the Justice system, Findings 2017, México Evalúa found that the justice system is egregiously understaffed. Despite reforms and regulation that require all state justice systems to provide social workers for counseling to victims of crime, México Evalúa “found that there are only 957 people working in this capacity in the entire country.” This amounts to no more than 23 percent of the number required by law.

One of their findings was that workers in the justice system are egregiously understaffed. Despite reforms and regulation that require all state justice systems to provide social workers for counseling to victims of crime, México Evalúa “found that there are only 957 people working in this capacity in the entire country.” This amounts to no more than 23 percent of the number required by law.

Prosecution is also severely shorthanded in Mexico. Public defenders are overburdened by impossible caseloads. In Guerrero, México Evalúa reports, public defenders handle an average of 10 cases.  But in Coahuila and Sinaloa, the average is closer to 80. In Nuevo Leon, the average public defender caseload is an unbelievable 854 cases.

Why the gap? What can be done? That’s exactly what México Evalúa is working to discover. By inviting community input, México Evalúa is calling attention to the issue and drawing in solutions. During their press conference, México Evalúa’s study was the #1 trending topic on Twitter in Mexico City and #7 nationwide.

Read “5,013 Deaths in Mexico City” (link in Spanish)