• Social prevention of violence and crime

Social prevention of violence and crime

The Government of Chihuahua enacted the Social Violence and Crime Prevention Law. The law operates in the context of the National Public Security System, which establishes mechanisms for coordination between the federal government, states, Mexico City, and municipalities for the prevention of social violence and crime. In this approach, a series of public policies, programs and actions are designed to reduce risk factors that promote violence and crime and address their underlying causes. The government of Chihuahua drafted a plan of action in a participatory process that directly involved communities, the education sector, the media, the business sector, the police, and civil society organizations. 

Meets the criteria established under Health in All Policies:

  • Political commitment. The law and its plan of action enjoy a political commitment at the highest levels of the State of Chihuahua. The Executive Branch drafted the bill pursuant to a national mandate and the Legislature enacted Law No. 2012.04.18/No. 31 in 2012.
  • Separate structure. The recently created State Attorney General's Office implements the initiative, which falls under the purview of the State Public Security Council comprised of representatives from all levels of government, the legislature, and civil society, including local universities, parents associations, and entrepreneurs.
  • Participation of other sectors. A range of sectors and groups are involved in implementing this initiative, including: state and municipal institutions (regional councils, the National System for Integral Family Development (DIF), addiction treatment centers, institute for women, the secretariats of urban development and ecology, social development, public safety, education and culture; urban services, and civic associations; neighborhood associations; faith based organizations, the business sector, and the general public.
  • Separate budget. The program is financed by federal allocations earmarked for security policy. It also receives state and municipal budget allocations and support from civil society organizations.
  • Focus on reducing inequity. While the program focuses primarily on youth, it also targets seniors and children in urban areas, where rising violence is associated with social and geographical inequalities created by urban development, inadequate social integration policy, and the perceived increase in organized crime.
  • Intersectoral action. –The State Center for Violence and Crime is currently drafting a social violence and crime prevention program and plan of action with citizen participation. It will conduct monitoring to ensure that cross-cutting activities in the area of public security are included in all programs established in the 2010-2016 State Plan. The latter includes key sectors that will be responsible for including these activities in the operating programs and budgets. An intersectoral entity has yet to be created by the state secretariats (economy, urban development and ecology, social development, SEDESOL) and municipal secretariats (public safety, citizen services).
  • Public policy. The plan sets out conditions for strengthening the health sector, including eleven strategic objectives related to health that fall under the Ministry of Health's purview related to violence and crime.
  • Evidence of results. The law was recently adopted and as yet there is no scientific evidence of its results.
  • Social participation. Participatory assessments of the social and economic context of violence in participating municipalities informed the collective development municipal plans for prevention and/or intervention. Formal opportunities for public participation include sitting on state and regional councils and committees, as well as civil society organizations, neighborhood associations, and intersectoral roundtables, etc. Informal opportunities include forums, thematic roundtables, and direct interaction with community leaders and the target populations.