In a recent blog for Project Syndicate, Steve Killelea (the man behind the Global Peace Index) wrote about the challenges and opportunities Mexico faces in order to overcome recent trends in violence. He idenfitied three critical areas that Mexico must address in order to become more peaceful, they are: freedom of information, government efficiency, and corruption.
As the graph below indicates, Mexico is well behind the global average for "Free Flow of Inforamation".
Free Flow of Information is one of the eight "Pillars of Peace"- these pillars can be understood as the attitudes, structures and institutions that underpin peaceful societies. Free Flow of Information measures how easily citizens can gain access to information, including whether the media is free and independent, as well as the extent to which citizens are informed and engaged in the political process and the diversity of access to information, such as measured through internet access or simply the ability to express political views.
The increase in violence in Mexico has attracted significant attention from the international media, with the number of media stories rising sharply from 2006 onwards.
The increasing attention paid to the drug war has not always been well-received. Journalists have been explicitly targeted for covering drug related violence. According to the 2014 Freedom of the Press Index, least 88 journalists have been killed in Mexico since 2003, with the majority of those deaths occurring after 2007.
The very fact that journalists are targeted for harassment and assassination highlights how important the free flow of information Pillar is in supporting and maintaining a peaceful society. In the last 15 years, two Mexican journalists have received the World Press Freedom Hero award from the International Press Institute. In general, the free flow of information is one of the most vital Pillars for stemming corruption.
Mexico has the greatest potential of any country in the world to overcome its current levels of violence and build a more peaceful society. Check out highlights.
The 2013 Mexico Peace Index Report analyses peace in Mexico over the last decade and identifies the key socio-economic factors associated with peace and violence.
Our latest research report, the Pillars of Peace, explores the attitudes and institutions that underpin peaceful societies.
Vision of Humanity is an initiative of the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). IEP have offices in New York and Sydney. For more specific inquiries related to the peace indexes and research, please contact IEP directly.