Who hasn’t fought with a neighbor? Whether it be over a parking space, excessive noise or for not putting the garbage where it belongs?
Who hasn’t heard stories about the abusive ex who “kidnapped” the kids or refuses to pay child support?
How many cases of wrongful termination drag on for years and years before compensation is awarded?
Who has managed to find justice?
In Mexico, roughly half the population has suffered something similar to the above.
And the percentage of those who have found satisfaction, who have seen justice done? Barely 10%.
So begins a new data journalism collaboration between WJP and Animal Político that explores the human stories behind Mexico’s many access to justice challenges. The report combines original WJP data on access to justice with storytelling-based investigative journalism to highlight how people experience everyday legal problems in Mexico. #EverydayJustice: Vulnerable Citizens in Mexico goes beyond data analysis to tell personal narratives that draw attention to civil justice problems that could potentially cause violence, economic, and health issues.
The web series relies on the results of WJP's Mexico States General Population Poll 2019, which was administered to a representative sample of 25,600 citizens from the 32 states in the country. These results include data on the prevalence of 38 different legal disputes and the different justice paths that people navigated depending on their problem's type and demographic characteristics, including sex, age, and state of residence. Using this data, Animal Político developed a microsite called "Everyday Justice" (#JusticiaCotidiana), featuring a series of articles, videos, and interactive tools. The pieces portray how different demographics of age, sex, and state populations experience negative impacts as a consequence of these types of legal problems.
According to WJP data, one out of two Mexicans have experienced a justice problem in the last two years. The data also reveal a striking relationship between civil legal disputes and experiencing violence or health, economic, and interpersonal hardships. This work marks WJP's first sub-national legal needs study, and is based on WJP's Global Insights on Access to Justice 2019 study.
While part of WJP's global research agenda on access to justice, this country-specific study provides a more in-depth look at how everyday justice problems are experienced and navigated in a developing country where people are also confronted with high levels of insecurity and violence. Discourse on justice in this context usually focuses on high impact crimes, insecurity, and lack of trust in formal institutions. While these issues are certainly important, they leave out the most common justice problems experienced by ordinary people. Animal Político’s discussion of these data are essential for moving the justice agenda beyond this narrow view of justice, and toward a more comprehensive understanding that includes people's civil justice needs.