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  • Youth in Mexico say police are corrupt or in collusion with criminal gangs.

    Youth in Mexico say police are corrupt or in collusion with criminal gangs. | Photo: AFP

While over 70 percent of youth have been victim of a crime, less than half have reported it because they do not trust authorities.

At least 9 out of 10 youths in Mexico say they distrust police officers, according to government figures released this week

The report, titled Social Cohesion Survey for the Prevention of Violence and Crime (Ecopred), found that 90 percent of youths between the ages of 12 and 19 believe that Mexican police forces are corrupt or in collusion with criminal groups.  

The findings were released by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) after the government body surveyed just under 100 000 Mexican homes spread over 47 cities in 32 states.

The report also indicated that among those youth who were surveyed, 71.6 percent said they had at least one “risk factor,” meaning they had been victim of at least one crime – but less than half of them reported the crime to their local police. 

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These figures highlight the immense distrust of youth trowards officials and their feelings of great insecurity.

The report also implies that this feeling of insecurity is justified, showing that in 2014 alone there were nearly 20 million crimes committed against youth in Mexico. Among the most common crimes include, petty theft, harassment, physical abuse, threats, sexual assault, defamation and extortion.

As a result, 12 percent of the youth surveyed also admitted to having criminal experience themselves, including illegally carrying a weapon, using illicit drugs, committing acts of vandalism, or joining a local gang. 

The survey was a government initiative by the Ministry of Interior (Segob), which is expected to serve as a basis for the implementation of youth crime prevention programs across the country. However, since the released of the report Tuesday, no programs or initiatives have yet been announced.  

According to youth who responded to the survey, only 15.9 percent participate in local groups or programs, the vast majority of which are sports or religious activities. The rest said they do not participate in such programs because they do not exist in their neighborhoods.  

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