Counting Skulls - Mexico's Hidden Crimes
Back in 2014 I was sat in President Peña Nieto’s chair in the Mexico City Department of Security bunker, as a guest of the Assuntos Internos of the Policia Federal. I was in the country as a guest speaker, to talk about crime statistics; how they are manipulated and the importance of challenging this practice. Looking around the impressive screens of information, my eye was drawn to the Air Traffic Control display.
It showed all of the planes in the air over Mexico - perfect geolocation data, because any slight failure could result in disaster and the deaths of Mexican citizens or foreign nationals. The screen struck me because next to it was a display of military and police deployments in the country, resources directed to areas by the use of Mexican crime data on violent crime and homicide.
What if that data wasn't accurate? What if the operations were in the wrong place? The stark truth is, this would be no less dangerous to citizens and the state than inaccuracy in flight data.
In the Autumn of 2016 I was invited back to Mexico City, this time to review twenty years worth of crime data and try to establish if similar problems could be uncovered. The final report was a challenging read for my Mexican hosts, but I asked them to keep in mind my time in the bunker.
This report is a world exclusive with unprecedented access to Mexico's crime data, made more relevant than ever following comments by US official Jeff Sessions...