A study conducted by the Argentine Catholic University (UCA) has revealed that the percentage of the population who fear being a victim of crime stood at 87.3 percent in 2015 and has not gone below 80 percent from 2010 to 2015. The issue of inseguridad — the catch-all phrase used to describe anything that is crime-related — is one that has permeated the national conversation over the past few years, with three out of 10 suffering violent or criminal incidents.
The numbers are from the Observatory of Argentina’s Social Debt and are the result of a comparison of reports on actual victimization and the perception of inseguridad or fear of being a crime victim, covering 5,683 cases annually. The studies were carried out in urban areas (80,000 inhabitants or more) on residents of 18 years or over.
That perception is linked to another factor, which is that many homes have actually been victims of crimes, something that the study clarifies cuts across all social strata. The middle class, however, seems to have been particularly badly hit, with three out of 10 middle class homes suffering from crime.
“With regards to violent or criminal incidents, the most victimized group is the middle class, which stands at 32 percent compares to the working class, 24 percent,” said the UCA document.
Another facet of the investigation looks into the lack of trust in the police and the judicial system: in general, only half of incidents are reported.
“Filing a report with the police is basically considered to be a waste of time, especially because there is the conviction that it won’t lead to positive results,” said Agustín Salvia, the head of the study.
The people interviewed by the survey clarified that they were deeply unhappy because of this feeling. Inseguridad has been a the forefront of concerns for years: in October, there was a march organized by a group of family members of victims and survivors affected by crime and judicial impunity under the rallying cry #ParaQueNoTePase (“So it doesn’t happen to you) to demand more “concrete measures to combat crime” and put an end to “security issues, injustice and impunity.”