Queretaro (Mexico), 24 August 2020 – During an interactive webinar, policymakers and practitioners discussed the progress made by the Municipality of Queretaro, Mexico, in implementing the recommendations of the 2019 Local Safety Audit, the first audit of its kind ever conducted in the country.
The audit report, developed by UNODC Mexico and the Center of Excellence in Statistical Information on Government, Crime, Victimization and Justice, highlighted a number of crime and victimization concerns as well as a set of recommendations to address them. Key challenges that were raised included gender-based and domestic violence, robbery and theft, drug use, arms trafficking and homicides. From May 2019 until June 2020, UNODC monitored government actions to implement the recommendations and offered technical assistance where needed.
In his opening remarks, Kristian Hölge, Representative of the UNODC Liaison and Partnership Office in Mexico, recognized Local Safety Audits as an opportunity to strengthen alliances between citizens and the local government that contribute to building peace and security. Salomé Flores, Coordinator of the Center of Excellence, raised the importance of monitoring the local trends, government actions and their impact.
The Municipal President of Queretaro, Luis Bernardo Nava Guerrero, presented the city's efforts to reduce violence through a preventive approach and acknowledged the relevance of the information produced by the Local Safety Audit. He mentioned that 77% of all the recommendations had been addressed so far. He specifically raised the importance of a comprehensive crime prevention model and noted the efforts of the municipality to improve trust between citizens and the local police, which, he said, showed an increase from 7.3% in March 2018 to 14.5% in March 2020*.
A key focus of the webinar was to evaluate the impact that mandatory lockdowns and social distancing policies have on domestic violence and abuse. With this in mind, the Minister of Public Security in the Municipality launched a local Campaign for Vulnerable Groups in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic, which includes audiovisual material informing about different forms of violence and abuse in times of COVID-19, support services and help lines, as well as health-related messages.
The above activities take place in the context of the global project "Evidence-based policies for improved community safety in cities of Latin America and Africa" and benefits from close cooperation between UNODC and UN-Habitat. The project, which is focused on the implementation of participatory crime diagnoses in eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality (Durban, South Africa), Cali (Colombia) and Queretaro (Mexico), aims to strengthen public policies on security and crime prevention at the local level in order to improve citizens’ life quality while promoting sustainable development.
* As per the National Survey of Urban Public Security of the National Institute of Statistics and Geography of Mexico
Local Safety Audits in Mexico
Inter-Agency Statement on Violence against Women and Girls in the Context of COVID-19
Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) response – UNODC Thematic Brief on gender-based violence against women and girls
Center of Excellence in Statistical Information on Government, Crime, Victimization and Justice