Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Drug wars, violence, exact huge economic and social cost in Mexico & Latin America
But according to Helen Clark, director of the United Nations Agency for Development, the unseen social and economic costs of internal violence in the Spanish speaking Americas are far higher. Clark was in Mexico City to celebrate the 50th anniversary of PNUD's (Spanish acronyms) presence in this country. She pointed out that economic resources which formerly were earmarked for education, health and infrastructure have been redirected to the war against organized crime. Studies suggest that overall, about 5% of Latin America's Gross Domestic Product (Producto Bruto Interno) is devoted to combating crime and internal threats, while in El Salvador that number is almost 11%. GDP/PBI measures the size and output of an economy – the value of goods produced and services delivered annually. Those numbers may not sound particularly impressive, but in developing economies which are suffering (along with everybody else) from the worldwide malaise which began in 2008, the marginal impact on citizens is severe.
Clark said that countries in the region should focus on comprehensive plans for public security and for reducing internal violence, but must always "be guided by respect for human rights and for the rule of law." If only it were all so easy.
at 8:41 PM