COVID-19, unemployment and insecurity


April 02, 2020

In the month of march, in full health emergency, there were two thousand 585 murders. Last Saturday, the 28th of march, when we were already in Phase 2 and had decreed the voluntary confinement in the country, was the most violent day of the month: there were 102 killed.

That same weekend, in some areas of the country, as in Celaya, the violence was terrible, with attack to bars and other commercial establishments. In Tamaulipas, after a violent confrontation, fell Hugo Alejandro Salcido, the head of the call Troop of Hell, the armed wing of the Cartel in the Northeast, one of the characters more violent world of drug trafficking. On Monday, in Veracruz, when he had already in the been 26 cases recognized COVID-19 and at least one person dead, was killed journalist María Elena Ferral. Meanwhile, in municipalities conurbados of the State of Mexico and in some municipalities of the capital were repeated attempts of looting of shops and supermarkets, organised by criminal groups calling for social networks, people participate in them.

If the coronavirus has caused a health crisis and economic downturn, we cannot forget that we were already in a deep security crisis that will worsen with the inevitable consequences of the pandemic. The prosecutor national antimafia in Italy, Federico Cafiero of Raho, told the Corriere della Sera that “the liquidity crisis that strikes a huge number of families represents a formidable opportunity for the bad life. Now that many strata of society have lost their sources of income in sectors that are forced to force close, who has accumulated so much money, starting by the narcos, has an immense power. Can offer money and jobs to people who have lost everything by the epidemic.” It is estimated that the various mafia organizations in italy (they are basically three: the sicilian, the neapolitan and calabrian with this, the ‘Ndrangheta, as the most visible and violent today) control, especially in the south of the country, about 19% of the local economies.

The scenario in Mexico is very similar. It is true that in the middle of a public health emergency, some of the operations of organized crime will be able to see paralyzed by one’s own social dynamics, but what is certain is that you have the resources to re-operate and take ownership via the purchase, the violence or the corruption— vast open spaces, businesses and individuals in the context of the crisis. On the other hand, the lack of liquidity, the general impoverishment, you make things easy for you, at the time that their estates more low, affected them also by the crisis, intensify as far as possible their operation in areas of common crime.

That scenario is already among us. The grave error that is committed by denying the support to the productive system before the crisis (president López Obrador returned to reiterate that rejection of the day of yesterday, confusing again backs tax bailouts or write-offs tax) exacerbate that scenario.

The problem is not resolved, as it has not been able to resolve in the last year and a half, with social supports delivered by the federal government. Those are welfare programs, useful and necessary, but they can’t replace the salary of a worker, an employee, a merchant, a freelancer, or of a worker industrial. Neither replaces the income of an offender.

In the united States, where there is unemployment, and where every household will receive about two thousand 500 dollars per month extra during the health crisis, the last week already three million people had applied for unemployment insurance. In our country, millions will lose their source of income, with the difference that they won’t have any support, because they do not participate even in the welfare programs of the government.

The federal government says that there will be a million of microloans to changarros, for tianguis, informal trade and very small businesses, but they forget that the huge majority of positions of formal labor within the economy is small and medium-sized enterprises, independent workers, who do not have any support and who were required to pay with opportunity their tax burdens to, paradoxically, give props to those who live and work in the informal economy. From there it will feed the crime. If it wasn’t terrible, it would be ridiculous, but what is certain is that this army of unemployed will end up being the cannon fodder of crime, organized or not.

The ideology prevent you from seeing the reality and consider the consequences of this in the immediate future. The healthcare crisis, the economic and security go hand in hand, and the management of political, budgetary and economic of the federal government is, unfortunately, contributing to the deepening of the three.

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