What the numbers say about crimeEl Universal. 06-12-12. In what we've seen of the [Calderon] six year term, up to September 2011, there have been 47,515 persons murdered "in the context of the rivalry among criminal organizations," according to the PGR. Although it is always positive to disclose a number of such transcendence, it would be ideal if the fact came with an explanation of the methodology used to derive it, including plans to reverse a situation that nobody is satisfied with.
The first doubt that the PGR's report raises is, just what is understood by "in the context of rivalry among criminal organizations"? Does this include confrontations with law enforcement agencies, or the number of civilian victims of abductions or robberies?
The PGR states that the number is derived by counting the homicides-- in the context of (criminal) rivalry-- that were reported to the federal government by the state attorneys general and prosecutors. One hopes that the states would at least have been asked to use uniform criteria for consideration.
In order to be able to address a problem eficiently, one must first rely on rigorous diagnosis. With respect to the situation of unrest in this country, it is essential to know the precise reasons underlying the homicides in order to provide a tailored response.
But one must also keep in mind that human life is intrinsically valuable. Under no circumstances should the categorization of dead presumed criminals be used to brag about some progress in the battle against crime. As President Calderon has said, what legitimizes use of the power of the state is that its exercise is based on lawfulness and morality. The deaths of persons whoever they may be, can never be good news.
There are still more than ten months left in this president's six year term. Much can still be done to adjust its strategy-- do whatever is needed-- so that violence is reduced without surrendering in the task of fighting crime.
There are still things to be done in the area of preventing drug addiction, recovering public spaces, jobs for young people in vulnerable situations, among other measures, to prevent homicides from being committed in the first place.