Photo: Move FM

XINHUA

Cutting crime in Mexico is key to attracting more foreign investment, leading to higher economic growth, the Private Sector Center for Economic Studies (CEESP) said in its weekly report, issued on Sunday, Feb. 2.

“That is why it is indispensable to guarantee security,” said the CEESP, which is part of the conservative Business Coordinating Council (CCE), Mexico’s largest business confederation.

If investment does not increase, the CEESP said that Mexico is unlikely to see any economic improvement this year.

The center called on Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) to prioritize measures to “drastically” reduce violent crime and extortion to promote growth and wellbeing.

Last year — AMLO’s first in office — the country registered 24,582 murders, a 2.5 increase from the previous year and the highest rate since official records began to be kept in 1997.

That number works out to an average of 95 murders per day, and initial figures for 2020 suggest that the number of violent deaths in Mexico is continuing to surge.

The CEESP report pointed out that, according to the latest government figures, Mexico’s gross domestic product (GDP) shrank 0.1 percent in 2019, contracting for the first time in a decade amid rising violent crime.

Notwithstanding, the Central Bank of Mexico (Banxico) had forecast that Latin America’s second-largest economy could grow between 0.8 and 1.8 percent in 2020.

In 2018, Mexico’s GDP expanded by 2.1 percent.

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