Jul 21, 2011, 11:20 PM
Post #24 of 52
Re: [raferguson] Safety - everything is relative?
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I usually look at a different set of numbers than Americans killed in Mexico, as it is hard to know how many Americans are in Mexico, on average.
I compare homicide rates in the USA and Mexico. Mexico is historically double the US rate, it may be worse now.
Homicides are almost always reported, so the issue of crimes never reported to the police is relatively low. Mexicans tend not to report crimes to the police, so that affects most crime statistics.
I figure if the homicide rate is double, then the other crime rates are likely also higher.
Note the recent discussion about razor wire on top of walls. I don't think that I have ever seen razor wire on top of walls in residential areas in the USA, although it may exist in isolated places. But razor wire is common in Mexico.
Of course, a national average is not necessarily indicative of the local situation. I am pretty sure that Guadalajara is safer than Washington DC, but not as safe as a small town in the USA. We know that Ciudad Juarez has extremely high homicide rates, obviously not the same as other parts of Mexico.
I agree that getting killed in Mexico is not a huge risk, but being a victim of other crime is another issue. I have some data that suggests armed robbery rates in Mexico are much higher than in the USA.
You can be sure that the FBI violent crime figures are highly accurate for murder if nothing else, but that is certainly not true in the case of Mexico's crime statistics. For example, 260 bodies dug up in and around the city of Durango and only a handful of them identified, or hundreds of people kidnapped off the highways of Tamaulipas and murdered without being recorded.
Recently someone asserted on this forum that the annual murder rate in the Guadalajara metro area was five per 100,000, which would be about the same as for the U. S. as a whole and rather low for a big central city. As someone who keeps an eye on the news I knew this was wrong on its face, and it spurred me to keep a tally of murders in the eight-municipality Guadalajara metro area and the entire state of Jalisco, as reported in on-line newspapers (mainly El Informador).
Beginning June 17, the papers have reported 151 murders in Jalisco, of which 86 were in the metropolitan Guadalajara area. This does not include eight bodies dug up that were presumed to have been murdered before June 17 or five people killed by police or private citizens where justifiable homicide was indicated. The reporting of murders is often a couple of days late.
Each person can decide for himself from his knowledge of murders committed in his community of Jalisco what the likelihood of a murder being reported in one of these papers is, but if this is the full number of murders in the state over this 35-day period you can do the math using Mexican census figures and find that murders were occurring in both the metropolitan area and the entire state at roughly the annual rate of the District of Columbia, which was 21.9 per 100,000 in 2009 (the last year FBI figures are available for).
The period may have been atypical, of course, and I plan to continue this project to find out, but the reports sure looked to me to be about like what I have been reading every day for a long time.
(This post was edited by norteño on Jul 21, 2011, 11:22 PM)