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Making data useful

Two of the crimes which have been on the rise in recent years across the Mexican Republic are sexual harassment and gender violence against women
Making data useful
File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
05/03/2018
08:49
Mexico City
Newspaper Leader by EL UNIVERSAL
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Two of the crimes which have been on the rise in recent years across the Mexican Republic are sexual harassment and gender violence against women.

Data from the National System of Public Security that EL UNIVERSAL publishes today show that between 2015 and 2017 a total of 102,423 case files were opened for crimes related to gender violence. As a result, 20,000 people have been arrested – 57% of them are already serving a sentence and 43% have an ongoing legal proceeding.

The rise in this crime has led authorities to create a national database to have an effective tool to locate the areas with higher rates and intervene in time to prevent further crimes.

For instance, the first statistics tell us that the states with the highest rate of sex crimes for every 100,000 inhabitants are Baja California with 69.6 cases; Chihuahua with 63.9; and Baja California Sur with 56.6.

Yet, the cities with the highest rate for every 100,000 inhabitants is Acuña (Sonora) with 97.4 cases, followed by Solidaridad (Quintana Roo) with 82; Tecate (Baja California) with 79.8; Cuernavaca (Morelos) with 78.5; and Ciudad Juárez (Chihuahua) with 76.3.

The identification of cities with higher rates should make it easier to implement social policies focused on prevention, together with awareness campaigns so that victims report the crime before the prosecutor's office and trust that their voices will be heard.

Although the figure of 20,000 people arrested for sex crimes might seem low in comparison to the investigations opened (over 100,000) it is a high percentage for law enforcement if we consider the overall standards of Mexico in this subject.

It's time that data generated are made useful to launch intel actions that can contribute to scale down – or even prevent – crime.

The data this platform is giving us on sexual harassment and assaults should not be ignored; on the contrary, local and federal authorities should take advantage of the information available to devise a comprehensive solution to the problem of gender violence.

It's a good opportunity to put an end to a problem rooted in sexism – it happens because women are seen as objects – and to fight it we require national measures implemented at schools, homes, and workplaces. If authorities have the data of cities with the highest crime rates, we cannot afford to waste them.

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