This paper analyzes the trend of the youth homicide rate (age groups 15-19 and 20-24) in Mexico in last 20 years and seeks to identify the social variables that better explain the geographical variations of youth homicide rate in Mexico in 2008-09. Data for this study was obtained from official sources; trends of homicide rates by each age group, gender, level of social marginalization and death mechanism between 1990 and 2009 were analyzed; for each Mexican state, homicide rates by each age groups in 2008-09 were calculated; through the use of stepwise multiple linear regression analysis the social variables that better explained the interstate variations in the homicide rates were identified. The results show that homicide rates in group 20-24 were always higher than 15-19 rates and also higher than the national average; in both age groups the rates declined between 1990 and 2004, but have increased substantially since that year, with rates significantly high in the international context. Furthermore, male homicide rates are clearly higher than female rates in both age groups. Moreover, regression models reflect that variables related to impunity, poverty and school dropout in 15-19 age group and impunity, poverty and drug trafficking in 20-24 are key elements to understand the geographic variations of the youth homicide rate in Mexico in 2008. In a violent context, characterized by insecurity, impunity and social exclusion, with lack of jobs and school places, young people are both victims and victimizers. In such sense structural changes are necessary to improve the living conditions of youth and reduce youth homicide rates. Coauthor: Dr. Maria Guadalupe Vega-Lopez

Keywords: Youth Homicide; Youth Violence, Mexico, Impunity, Drug trafficking

Author: Gonzalez-Perez, Guillermo Julian (Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico / Mexiko)


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