Mexico Peace Index: the Good and Not-so-Good News
By Robin Loving Rowland
On Saturday, San Miguel will have its first International Peace and Prosperity Conference. You will want to be there to learn how, with our help, Mexico can be a more peaceful place. Keynoting will be Paty de Obeso of the Institute for Economics and Peace, which just unveiled the Mexico Peace Index.
International Peace and Prosperity Conference
Sat, Apr 25, 9:30am-1pm
Salida a Querétaro 1
Her independent research organization has measured violence and crime in Mexico for the past three years. The current index shows that homicide and organized crime is falling, thereby boosting the economy. The IEP says there is great potential for peace in the long term. The national level of peace has improved 16 percent since 2011, with improvements in 26 of the 31 states. Homicides have decreased by almost 30 percent, while organized crime has dropped by 25 percent. That’s the good news.
The bad news is that weapon-related crimes are up 11 percent. The report says that there is great potential for reducing violence and improving wellbeing if appropriate reforms are undertaken. That’s a good thing, for the report notes Mexico is 138th of 162 countries in terms of peace.
The MPI estimates that violence cost the economy US$233 billion last year—17.3 percent of the gross domestic product. “The impact of violence is three times greater than the total Mexican health budget,” said Steve Killelea, the IPE’s executive chairman. He said the potential to improve the peace levels gives Mexico a positive peace surplus that is one of the largest in the world.
Conference panel members include Patricia Ann Talley, who will share a business model for peace and prosperity that she presented to the United Nations, showing how to unite businesses, tourism departments, education, and service organizations to develop sustainable peace strategies. Panelist Wendy Coulson, a Rotary Peace Fellow, will explain how to involve educational systems in successful peace education. Panelist Jean Paul Peretz will share results of the Peace Education Program that has improved the lives of police, prisoners, drug addicts, gangs, and the public in general.
The results of a contest to identify actionable peace projects will be revealed at the conference, with the winner receiving 2,000 pesos.
Simultaneous translation headphones will be free for priority seating at 100 pesos, 50 pesos per person with free admission (25 pesos for students with school identification). Refreshments will be served, and sponsors will have exhibits of interest.
Conference sponsors include AMPI, Andre Baltimore, Camino de la Paz, the Eugene Southtowne Rotary Club, The Hotel Association, Hotel Misión, La Zona Business Association, Lifepath, Michael Lambert and Beverly Spiro, The Nonprofit Resource Center, Rick Wendling, The Rotary Club of San Miguel de Allende, The Rotary Club of San Miguel de Allende–Midday, SanMiguelEvents.com, The University of León–San Miguel Campus, and Ali and Naomi Zerriffi. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.