Ecuador Phased Out Leaded Gasoline in 1997. Guess What Happened 17 Years Later?

Alejandro Tamayo/San Diego Union-Tribune via ZUMA

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Over at Vox, Sigal Samuel interviews David Brotherton, who has a theory about Ecuador’s murder rate:

In 2007, the crime-riddled nation of Ecuador did something surprising: It legalized the gangs that had been the source of much of the violence. Then something even more surprising happened over the next decade: Murder rates plummeted…from 15.35 per 100,000 people in 2011 to 5 per 100,000 people in 2017.

Brotherton theorizes that the decline in the murder rate was due to Ecuador’s 2007 decision to legalize gangs. Maybe so! But it’s also interesting to note that Ecuador phased out leaded gasoline between 1997 and 2001. This would lead you to expect a big drop in violent crime between 2014 and 2018. And that’s what happened.

How about that?

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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