The Permeating Effects of Violence on Health Services and Health in Mexico

Over the past ten years, organized violence within certain municipalities in Mexico has

increased dramatically. A recent study led by PISC Fellow Laura Vargas, PhD, examined the

impact organized violence has on a health care system. To obtain data, a variety of healthcare

workers in Mexican municipalities with high violence rates were interviewed.

Providers cited that patients frequently avoid seeking care, as violence leaves them scared to

travel to the hospital. Health care providers are often targets of threats, aggression, and

kidnapping. “None of us have a safe place,” said one provider. Overall, violence has taken a

significant toll on the healthcare community. In the future, this study will be useful in

determining how to improve medical interventions in areas living undergoing organized


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