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Hannah Willard
AP Language
12 December 2016
Crime and Violence- The Killers of Mexico?
What comes to mind when you think of Mexico? In the minds of some people, Mexico is
a prepossessing vacation get away with enjoyable weather, beautiful beaches and a captivating
culture. People travel to Mexico to get away from their reality, although unfortunately in the
reality of others, not all are able to experience Mexico's beauty. High levels of crime and
violence paired with fierce drug wars have crippled and negatively impacted both the cities and
the people who inhabit them. Mexico has suffered through deprivation of economic opportunities
due to this crime and has seen the way of life for citizens and tourists alike drastically
diminished.
Many Mexican cities have quickly become some of the most dangerous places in the
world. Iztapalapa, Acapulco, and Calican have all seen drastic increases in hard crime and
violence. Even Mexico City, which had previously been seen as a relative safe haven, has seen
an uptick in crime. As mentioned in Crime in Mexico: The Most Dangerous Cities in Mexico,
Iztapalapa has an extremely high kidnapping and murder rate and is very dangerous with lots of
rapes and violence against women. In October 2016, there was a horrid scene in Iztapalapa
where a man's body was found hanging over a bridge in a busy street. In what could be inferred
to match the spirit of Halloween, he was wrapped head to toe in white bandages, like a mummy,

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and killed with two bullets through his head (Estevez). After years of declining homicides all
around Mexico, rates shot up in the first half of 2016 to 10,301, or approximately 57 people a
day (AndersonSchoepe). These high levels of violence and homicides are negatively impacting
people and their daily lives, making their own country an unsafe home occupied by criminal
violence.
Women in Mexico are unfairly treated by security forces and authorities as sexual
violence is regularly being used as torture to secure confessions to organized crime. Women are
seen as the weakest link in Mexican society, making them an easy target to arrest in the current
ongoing drug war (Westcott). Security forces are torturing confessions out of innocent women to
make themselves look like they are doing their job in arresting suspects. Women are being
sexually abused, electro-shocked, touched and groped to obtain forced confessions to crimes the
women more than often didnt commit (Westcott). One example of this torture is seen with
Monica, a 26 year old mother of four in Northern Mexico. Monica was gang-raped by six police
officers, received electroshocks to her genitals, was suffocated with a plastic bag and had her
head plunged into a bucket of water, all in efforts to force her to confess to being part of a
criminal gang (Westcott). Unjustly, women and their families are being taken advantage of by
officials of their own county; a direct consequence in the violence and drug war present in
Mexico.
Men, women, and children are exposed to perilous environments throughout Mexico,
especially during the current drug war taking place throughout the country. The Mexican
government has been fighting a war with drug traffickers since 2006 while at the same time, drug
cartels have fought each other for control of territory. The drug war's negative impact is evident

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as McDonald observed, I've been to a place where 193 bodies were buried in a field. I realized I
wasn't really covering crime anymore- it was more like a war. This war that has raged across
Mexico over the past decade has been the cause to the deaths and disappearances of hundreds of
thousands of people (Woody). Drug Cartels in Mexico have negatively impacted civilians lives
who are not even associated with the drug trades, such as migrants, journalists and government
officials who have refused to join cartels, but have been killed anyways (Park). Even innocent
bystanders are experiencing the beheadings, mass executions, and public torture that has come
along with the loathsome drug war that has been responsible for much of the crime taken place in
Mexico over the past ten years.
Inevitably, growing up surrounded by violence will take a toll on your everyday life,
short and long term. Mexico's epidemic of violence is shown to have negative consequences on
the health of the overall population. As proven by research by the Journal of Epidemiology and
Community health, Indirectly, the high levels of homicide rates have been related to worse
cognitive performance of children exposed to this crime, increased anxiety and depression levels
(Canudas-Romo). The continuous exposure to violence as a child is shown to affect a person's
psychological well-being and, A disproportionate number of homicides have caused Mexican
life expectancy to stagnate during the new millennium (Canudas-Romo). It is undeniable that
the Mexican way of life has been deteriorated by the violence and danger around them.
In addition to people's way of life being altered by criminal violence, the thriving
industry of tourism is being affected as well, although some may not agree. According to Mark
Browne of CNS News, Mexico is booming more than ever as a tourist location, regardless of the
climbing crime rate. Browne also mentions, Despite rising crime and an international reputation

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for widespread narcotics trafficking violence, Americans are choosing to vacation in Mexico
more than ever. Despite the fact that tourism is still a booming industry in Mexico doesn't mean
the negative elements violence brings haven't had an influence. Many businesses are being
negatively impacted by violence, specifically in the tourism industry, because of the areas that
are being ripped apart by the violent crime in major cities. In August of 2016, 16 people were
abducted from a Mexican beach resort restaurant when armed men burst in and bundled the
victims into SUVs (Agren). Additionally, Journalist and reporter Anabel Flores, was kidnapped
in the city of Orizaba and was found dead 24 hours later with state authorities attributing the
murder to organized crime (Browne). Tourists, visitors, and journalists are not safe in specific
Mexican areas, causing a decline in the tourism industry in 2016.
Violence has a measurable effect on economic opportunity and growth in Mexico. It is
clear that crime is holding back several industries from thriving in this country. In the article
How an Overlooked Impact of Mexicos Drug Violence is Holding back its Economy, Viridiana
Rios, a scholar at Harvard, mentioned, "What violence is causing is killing the industries that
are complex. In those regions that are very violent, complexity cannot flourish," during a
presentation at the Wilson Center (Christopher Woody). Being surrounded by an unsafe
environment takes a toll on the way businesses are run. Along with impacting the industry itself,
the rising crime rate correlates with lower levels of employment and economic productivity
(Schippa). In addition, it is leading to people taking off from their own country in search of better
opportunity. As exhibited by Christopher Woody of Business Insider, Mexicans are also leaving
the country for higher education, in part because of violence, a trend that is depriving the country
of workers with the requisite skills for advanced industries to grow. The high levels of violence

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are preventing complex economic industries from starting and/or growing, which bring forth a
challenge towards countless businesses in Mexico.
In the relevant correlation between the economy and rising violence, Mexico is being
deprived of several resources, one importantly being money. In opposition, Tom Wainwright, a
former Mexico City reporter mentioned, "Big companies operating in Mexico [aren't] affected
that much by organized crime, Unfortunately, crime's impact on the economy is evident as the
oil industry alone loses billions of dollars a year due to the oil theft (Woody). It is shown that if
more peace was present throughout Mexico, there would be better well being of humans and
Mexico would be expected to save 5.66 trillion pesos over the next 5 years. Much of this
whopping number comes from the 727 billion pesos attributed to homicides annually
(Schippa). In other terms, much would improve if violent rates decreased, but unfortunately that
is not as simple as many wish it could be.
It is time for change in the country of Mexico. Even though it may not be simple, Mexico
needs to move towards bringing an end to the drug war and all criminal violence taking place.
The crime and ongoing drug war has served as a sheet over Mexico, not allowing it to fully
develop and exhibit its full potential. In order to eliminate criminal violence, Mexico needs to
round up police forces and review departments in efforts to reduce corruption. Without this
violence, Mexico's businesses and industries can flourish like they deserve, but more
importantly, Mexico's own people, tourists, and journalists can stay safe while exploring Mexico
and all it has to offer.

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Works Cited
AndersonSchoepe, Torrey. Homicides Are on the Rise in Mexico after Years of Decline, and
the Result of a New Criminal Dynamic. AOL.com, 27 July 2016,
Agren, David. "Up to 16 People Abducted from Mexican Beach Resort Restaurant." The
Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 15 Aug. 2016. Web. 11 Dec. 2016.
Browne, Mark. "Mexico Enjoys Tourism Boom Despite Drug Violence, Rising Crime." CNS
News. N.p., 08 June 2016. Web. 29 Nov. 2016.
Canudas-Romo, Vladimir et al. Mexico's Epidemic of Violence and Its Public Health
Significance on Average Length of Life. Canudas-Romo Et Al. -- Journal of
Epidemiology &Amp; Community Health, 23 July 2016
Crime in Mexico: The Most Dangerous Cities In Mexico? - Bawmb.com. Bawmb.com, 2 Apr.
2016
Estevez, Dolia. Rise In Criminal Violence In Mexico City May Be Linked To Drug Cartels.
Forbes, Forbes Magazine, Oct. 2016
"Mcdonald, Craig. IT'S NOT CRIME. IT'S WAR; FRONTLINE REPORTER DETAILS

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ATROCITIES UNLEASHED BY COCAINE CARTELS." Sunday Mail [Glasgow,
Scotland], 21 Feb. 2016, p. 44. Global Issues in Context
Mexico: Sexual Violence Routinely Used as Torture to Secure. Mexico: Sexual Violence
Routinely Used as Torture to Secure "Confessions" from Women,
Park, Madison. Mexico's Notorious Drug Cartels. CNN, Cable News Network, 18 Aug. 2016
Schippa, Camilla, `. "This Is How Much Violence Costs Mexico's Economy." World Economic
Forum. N.p., 2016. Web
Westcott, Lucy. Mexican Authorities Are Using Sexual Torture against Women, Amnesty
Says. Newsweek, 3 July 2016
Woody, Christopher. "How an Overlooked Impact of Mexico's Drug Violence Is Holding Back
Its Economy." Business Insider. Business Insider, 19 Mar. 2016. Web. 30 Nov. 2016.