At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, governments around the world began implementing a series of public health measures to limit transmission of the virus that causes the disease. Two such measures were social distancing and stay-at-home orders, both of which were meant to reduce human mobility and contact, and thus slow down the spread of the infection. These measures in turn provided scientists with a natural experiment to study other social phenomena that hinge precisely on human mobility and contact. One of these is criminal activity. Expectedly, the literature focused on the interaction between COVID-19—with the corresponding measures to contain it—and criminal activity prior to and during the months of the pandemic has grown substantially. This study adds to this literature by addressing the relationship between COVID-19 and criminal activity in the Mexican case, comparing the pre-pandemic and pandemic periods of time and examining the interaction of these variables at both the national and subnational levels.
Read the full article in Small Wars Journal.