By Eugenio Weigend
Unlike elections in the United States, candidates for popular elections in Mexico come from three main political parties. I am frankly not sure if having three main choices is better than having two options.
Nevertheless, voters in Mexico are becoming more diverse than before. The population has gradually shifted from a general PRI representation, to vote for PAN and PRD in all three, municipal, state and federal level of governments. It is actually very interesting to see how this behavior has changed over time, and how many regions are still characterized to vote for a certain party. However, that is not what I would like to talk about today.
During the last elections, we saw how each party used the “violence card” during their campaign. In fact some campaigns literally said "we should not vote for X party, since states or municipalities represented by that party were more violent." As a matter of fact it has not been only a campaign strategy for political candidates, it has also been a common belief by people all over the country. Of course, depending on their region, they will change the name of the presumed violent party.
In the name of science, I decided to investigate the facts. I took a look at all 32 entities and the political party they belong to at the state level. In other words, if their governor was from PRI, PAN or PRD. Then I analyzed violence by using the homicide rate per 100,000 for each state during 2011.
Surprisingly, or not so much, the graph below illustrates no apparent association between the number of homicides per 100,000 habitats and the political party representing each particular state. In fact, during 2011, the three states with the highest number of homicides represent different parties among themselves. These states were Chihuahua from the PRI, Sinaloa from the PAN and Guerrero from the PRD.
This graph is an interesting exercise. Nevertheless, it would also be interesting to use further statistics at different levels of government through time and control for other variables. However, at a first glance, it shows that all three main political parties in Mexico have the challenge of reducing violence and that the "violent card" should not have been used during the elections.