Friday, September 18, 2015

Mexico spent about 0.7 % in Public Security

From El Financiero Opinion in Spanish:

As we saw on Friday, we are in financial difficulties and all politicians are partly to blame. I do not think that serves to criticize anyone, but rather analyze what we want the government to spend and how we finance it. I think it's a good idea to start by what we think the government should do, to see how much it would cost, and then decide whether we are willing to pay it, reduce it or prefer obligations.

I do not think there is much doubt that the primary role of government is security, both nationally and that of their inhabitants, in which we include the administration of justice. And then we can discuss other things, from education to the entrepreneur government, but first we have to solve it, which is a current problem, not just a theoretical approach.

It is not easy to know how much should the government spend on national and public security, because much depends on what goals we seek. So I think we should make an international comparison, especially in countries where these items work well.

As you know, Latin America is the most violent continent in the world, so I'm not sure that the comparison should be between us. According to Eurostat, the average expenditure in the European Union's law enforcement round three points of GDP. Two of them are for police and the other goes to courts and detention centers.\

Something similar happens in the US, where spending is just over 2.0 percent for all this. In Mexico spent about 0.7 percent from the federal government, and perhaps half that between states and municipalities. Say a point in total, half of what developed countries spend.

On the side of national defense spending it is also difficult to define. The oil-rich countries in the Middle East, for instance, spend between 5.0 and 10 percent of its GDP in this field. It is understood, because practically have a single source of wealth, oil, and must be looked after. Out of them, spending ranges from 3.0 to 5.0 percent of GDP in countries with significant military tradition, from the United States, Russia, China and much of Western Europe to Chile, Colombia or Ecuador here in Latin America. Brazil round 1.5 percent. We, after significant increases in recent years, nearly came to 0.6 percent of GDP.

This means that while most countries allocated about 5.0 percent of GDP to national security and internal order, we just surpassed 1.3 percent-not the third party. The results are very clear: the local police have no preparation or materials, or incentives to pursue his work, no social safety net; the military can deal with organized crime, but barely, and only in certain parts of the country. They can not take whole areas, because they have enough troops. The courts in Mexico can not keep up to address issues that have, over the same ends subordinates with low wages and large discretionary space, and corruption is rampant.

In this, I think, no way out. Or we multiply by three security spending, or we can never have what they call the rule of law. Certainly not enough to spend more, but it will be impossible without it. While the anti-corruption system is driven, it is essential to proceed with the construction of better public safety, delivery and administration of justice, and social rehabilitation. There are examples in many parts of the world, there is much more efficient techniques. Foul we want to do, and we are willing to spend what it takes.

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