Mexico: the Land of Many Countries (or Comparisons Thereto)

On Thanksgiving, the Economist published an interactive map that looked at Mexico across three metrics: murders, murder rates, and population. Mexico is one of the more populated countries in the world, but it is also one of the most dangerous. In the middle of the previous decade, the Mexican government began to crack down on the drug cartels. But the cartels have violently resisted. Very violently.

The map is nothing new. It labels different Mexican states by comparing their statistics to those of countries across the world. For example, the state of Chihuahua in northern Mexico, one of the “fronts” of this new drug war, has a population of 3.41 million people. The total number of murders so far this year is 2,350. That is only six murders fewer than in the entire country of the Ukraine. Did I mention the population of the Ukraine is over 45 million. More than ten times the size of Chihuahua. And the comparisons go on, though as the map clearly points out the distribution is not uniform.

Murder rates in Mexico
Murder rates in Mexico

In terms of interactivity, a nice little feature is the filtering of the map by the legend at the bottom. Hover over one of the bars and only those areas appear coloured in the map.

Mexican Drug Cartels

Mexico has some serious problems. Primarily with the drug cartels. About two weeks ago the National Post created an infographic that looked at the northern spread of Mexican drugs into the United States. The infographic also included details on the transit and transportation networks the different drugs take along with the geographic spread of the various cartels from the Tijuana, Federation, Juarez, and Gulf Cartels as reported by US cities.

Foreign Policy magazine rates countries as to how close they may or may not be to becoming failed states. Mexico is among those that have fallen into the “Warning” category over the recent years. The second half of the infographic looks at why. In short, in the past few years over 50,000 people have been killed in drug-related homicides and several more thousand have simply disappeared. The police, military, civilian officials, journalists, &c. have become targets of the cartel if they oppose the cartels.

Mexico has some serious problems. Sadly problems have a tendency to spill over borders.

Cropping of the Mexican Cartel infographic
Cropping of the Mexican Cartel infographic

Credit for the piece goes to Jonathan Rivait and Richard Johnson.

Brotherly Love

From the New York Times we have a graphic that looks at homicides across several different US cities. And in Chicago, they are up significantly from this point last year. So too is Philly, but I like to think of that as an outpouring of brotherly love.

Homicides
Homicides