Has Mexico forsaken its youth?

When will authorities offer better opportunities for the Mexican youth?

Has Mexico forsaken its youth?
Young people are at a higher risk of being murdered - Photo: Henry Romero/Reuters
English 12/08/2019 09:09 Mexico City Editorial Actualizada 09:15
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A lot of young Mexicans are facing a grim future: very few chances of going to university, having a well-paid job, training to launch a project, or even to practice a sport.

The grim scenario is worsened by yet another factor: in some areas, the probabilities of being murdered are four times higher than the national average if you're young. For example, in 2017, the national homicide rate reached 21 murders for every 10,000 young people but in Colima, the numbers increased to 88 murders for every 10,000 youths. The age group between 20 and 24 is at risk; in 2018, 40% of murders were perpetrated against people between that age group.

Will it be enough to provide monthly financial aid and work training for a year so that the situation changes for thousands of young Mexicans?

But not everything can be solved through jobs. Numbers released by the INEGI during the first trimester of 2019 show that 8 in every 10 young people earn up to three minimum wages, that is, MXN $9,241 per month, and a part of them work for companies that don't provide work benefits.

Experts have questioned these type of projects. Some affirm that it is unlikely that the totality of the beneficiaries has the potential of becoming criminals. They considered that it is necessary to concentrate the aid in areas at risk. In 2018, Colima, Quintana Roo, and Guanajuato registered the largest number of homicides among young people.

The reason why many young Mexicans join criminal organizations is the lack of attention from federal and local authorities. The profile of those who require urgent public policies and programs is clear: young people who left school and lack the abilities to join the workforce.

Every young person who is murdered, on average 5,000 a year, is the proof that Mexico has failed to create work and education opportunities. Although authorities could do a lot to lower the homicide rates, they have yet to collaborate to make this a reality. The future of the Mexican youth is everyone's responsibility: local, state, and federal authorities? When will authorities offer them better opportunities?


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