By David Gagne / InSight Crime
A new World Bank report states there is a correlation between homicide rates and the number of unemployed male youths during the apex of Mexico’s drug war, a telling reminder that improving public security requires more than just criminal justice reform.
The recently released report examines the risks facing Latin America’s “ninis,” a term used to describe youth who are neither in school nor active in the work force. Using data from Mexico’s national employment surveys, the study concludes that there is no correlation between the amount of ninis and homicide rates from 1995-2013.
But there is a positive and significant correlation, the study finds, between the rate of ninis and the number of murders between 2008 and 2013, when violence related to Mexico’s drug war reached its peak.
When discussing how to improve public security in Mexico — and, indeed, the rest of Latin America — the conversation tends to center on a few key topics, such as police reform and combating criminal groups. The World Bank study cautions against taking such a myopic approach to addressing patterns of violence.