Inequality, poverty and corruption are responsible for increased violence and crime in many countries around the world. In Central America and the Caribbean, crime and violence constrain foreign direct investment, and reduce productivity and growth. According to a World Bank World Development Report, “71% of the adult population said they view crime as a major threat to future well‐being, and more than 50% believed high crime rates would justify a military coup.”
Mexico: Since 2006, tens of thousands of Mexican citizens have been killed and scores more have been reported as missing in the war between narcotics gangs and the Mexican government. While the killings continue, few are brought to justice. Where government corruption and collusion is high, people live in fear.
Venezuela: Average Venezuelans are suffering from widespread. Grocery stores are often out of food. Hospitals lack basic supplies and medicines. Gang warfare has broken out in many areas in a struggle to secure the basics for life and health. Excessive government borrowing, political corruption and mismanagement of the nation’s oil wealth have led Venezuela to this sad predicament.
Equatorial Guinea: Despite a high per capita GDP (surpassing Italy or South Korea), the majority of the population (60%) survives on less than $1 a day. Revenues from oil sales never reach the people, as these funds are stolen, extorted and gifted to allies through systematic widespread corruption.
The absence or failure of effective rule of law policies underscores each of these tragic cases, resulting in the breakdown of social development. Nations suffering from high levels of violence and conflict, where the rule of law has not taken root, report high poverty, low education and increased rates of infant mortality.
The Rule of Law Alliance seeks to educate and promote a culture of respect for the rule of law to help lift these and other struggling nations from the yolk of violence and poverty. Through the advancement of rule of law initiatives, we will work to increase participation under the law, support measures that enhance equality, and help people living at the margins of society gain access to legal assistance and increased economic opportunities.