MEXICO CITY, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- Crime costs Mexico 14 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017, according to a study released on Sunday.
According to the Private Sector Center for Economic Studies (CEESP), the financial losses linked to high crime, which hit record levels last year, amounted to 312.3 billion U.S. dollars.
"Mexico is facing a difficult situation in matters of crime affecting companies and families, which means the incoming government must strengthen its efforts to find a solution in the short term," the CEESP said.
Mexico's president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who takes office on Dec. 1, has pledged to fight crime by tackling poverty and public-sector corruption, which often goes unpunished in Mexico.
"Eradicating impunity and strengthening the rule of law must be an immediate goal," said the center, which belongs to the Business Coordinating Council (CCE), Mexico's largest business confederation.
Official figures show 18,835 murders took place in the first eight months of this year, 17.6 percent more than the same period the year before.
Homicides hit a record high of 31,174 in 2017, according to the national statistics agency Inegi.
The 2018 Global Peace Index compiled by the international Institute for Economics and Peace ranks Mexico 140 out of the world's 163 most violent countries, with war-torn Syria in 163rd place.
In its Global Competitiveness Report, the World Economic Forum (WEF) ranks Mexico among the world's top five countries with the most organized crime.