Flawed Measurements of Organised Crime Activities: The Case of Extortion in Mexico
By Patricio Estevez-Soto, on 5 April 2018
Extortion against businesses is one of the main security challenges facing the Mexican government today. Statistics from crimes reported to the police show that extortion has increased dramatically since the country was plunged into a decade-long ‘war’ against organised crime, rising by about 81% in the past 10 years.
However, given the risk of reprisals entailed by reporting extortion incidents to the authorities, estimates from reported crimes rarely provide reliable measurements of extortion incidence.
To mitigate this shortcoming, Mexico’s national statistics agency (INEGI) conducts regular victimisation surveys that measure extortion, among other crimes. Estimates from surveys conducted with households (ENVIPE) and businesses (ENVE), suggest that extortion is, indeed, a widespread problem: it is the second most common crime against households, and the third most common crime against businesses…
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