Upsurge in homicides decreases life expectancy and life span equality among males in Mexico according to new demographic research
New paper from our Jose Manuel Aburtoand his co-author Hiram Beltrán Sánchez in AJPH
A new study published in a leading journal of public health shows that the recent increase of homicides in Mexico negatively impacted life expectancy for males and increased their lifespan inequality. The upsurge of homicides is related to the Mexican government’s effort to mitigate drug cartel activities that initiated a cycle of violence – so-called War on Drugs since 2007. The study shows that in the period between 2005 and 2015 homicides were the main cause of death for young males aged 15 to 50 years, and increased more than 50% in this period, from 20.4 to 31.2 per 100,000. Homicides largely acted against improvements in other health outcomes caused by public health interventions. Similar negative effects of violence can be expected in other countries of the region such as El Salvador, Honduras and Venezuela where homicide levels are even higher. Mexico needs to recognize and correct the detrimental consequences in health and human rights that suppressive and drug-prohibition policies have had on the population. Rather than military action against drug cartels the government should re-focus on improving social and human capital through education, community support and employment programs.