Is Mexico’s Crime Wave Ebbing?


The Economist checks in on the situation:

Many parts of Mexico, including its gigantic capital, are relatively peaceful, so the country’s overall murder rate is still no higher than Brazil’s and much lower than much of Central America’s. Yucatán, the quietest state, is statistically as safe as Finland. But very few places are unscathed by the trend: nearly all states saw more killings last year than five years earlier. Polls show that insecurity is Mexicans’ biggest worry.

Now, for the first time since murders began to soar in 2008, the rate is subsiding. In the first nine months of this year killings were 7% down on the same period in 2011. Twenty of Mexico’s 31 states recorded a decline. In Juárez Mr García’s mortuary is back to handling about 40 bodies a month, little more than during what juarenses still know as the “pre-war” years. Mr Calderón describes the past year as a “turning point” for the country, but cautions that it took Colombia many years to bring its murder rate under control. In Juárez people once again drive with their windows rolled down and eat their burritos on the pavement, but achieving the same results elsewhere will not be easy.

The above chart matches the murder rates in Mexico's states to the murder rates in various countries. Interactive version here.