Gallup: Despite Mexico’s Drug Crackdown, Fewer Feel Safe and Trust the Police

Five years after Mexico embarked on an aggressive “war on drugs,” a recent Gallup poll finds Mexicans are less likely to report gangs and drugs in their neighborhood, but are also less likely to feel safe and trust the police.

Whereas 57 percent of Mexicans reported feeling safe walking alone at night in 2007, by 2011 only 42 percent agreed. In 2007, 50 percent had confidence in their local police; confidence dropped 15 points to 35 percent by 2011.

This shift coincides with a 5 percent decline between 2007 and 2011 among Mexicans reporting illegal drug trafficking (33 percent) and gangs (46 percent) in their neighborhoods.

These Gallup poll results suggest there is likely a cost to reducing drug trafficking. Although correlation is not causation, theories of black-market behavior suggest that crackdowns drive more activity to the black market and outside the rule of law. Without rule of law protections, it is less surprising that disputes may resort to violence and other activities that may cause people to feel less safe and have lowered confidence in police.

 

Gallup’s Survey Methodology

Results are based face-to-face interviews with approximately 1,000 adults in each survey, aged 15 and older, and conducted from July 2007-December 2011 in Mexico. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

For more complete methodology and specific survey dates, please review Gallup's Country Data Set details.

Follow Emily Ekins on Twitter @emilyekins

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  • tarran||

    "Despite"? "Despite"?

    AS in when he New York Times published an article saying that "Despite the class being free, there is a waiting list to attend?"

    Because that is no the whord you are looking for.

  • Longtorso||

    I was just about to say the same thing.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    No..no...she got it right. The Mexican populace is feeling less safe out of spite to the brave Federales and their Guerra contra las drogas

  • plu1959||

    "Despite federal guarantees of student loans, tuition costs still make college out of reach for many Americans."

  • sloopyinca||

    "Despite Almost exclusively because of federal guarantees of student loans, tuition costs still make college out of reach for many Americans."

    FIFY.*

    *I know. I know. Despite me missing your point, I just couldn't let it go.

  • sloopyinca||

    Here's another reason people shouldn't trust the police.

    But we're always told this never happens, so whenever someone identifies himself as a cop, we must do whatever he tells us.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • sloopyinca||

    Kinda lends credence to Jose Guerena's defense.

    Well, it would if he hadn't have been the one turned into swiss cheese without getting a shot off.

  • DWC||

    I don't think they even pretend that it's about making people safe or engendering faith in the police. When an outcome is predictable and predictable with certainly, it is stupid to talk about unintended consequences.

  • R C Dean||

    There otta be a law.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Despite Reason's Alt-Text Crackdown, Fewer Feel Entertained and Trust the Editors

  • Old Mexican||

    Without rule of law protections, it is less surprising that disputes may resort to violence and other activities that may cause people to feel less safe and have lowered confidence in police.


    Actually, confidence in the police has always been low in Mexico, especially in the big cities and especially in Mexico City, where people have always considered that the police were running stolen goods and kidnapping rackets.

    Monterrey used to be one of the safest cities in Mexico. Back in the 90s, you could be downtown until the early hours of the next day partying and having fun, with taxis running the streets looking for fares. When the crackdown against the drug cartels started, downtown became almost a war zone. Many of the established night clubs and late-dinner restaurants closed down.

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