Over Half of Mexico Homicides Perpetrated by Organized Crime: Report

gun - crime scene10/27/16 InSight Crime

A study linking a percentage of Mexico‘s homicides to organized crime offers a different view of the rising violence depicted through government homicide figures, which do not discriminate between all killings and those related to criminal groups.

From January to September 2016, organized crime was responsible for 8,815 homicides, which amounts to 58 percent of all homicides during that period and a 47 percent increase in comparison to the same period the previous year, according to the study by Semáforo Delictivo and Lantia Consultores. The data was obtained through the monitoring of media reports, according to Animal Politico, and comparing the killing count with official homicide statistics.

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Surge in Tijuana Violence Recalls Past Bloodshed

10/19/16 InSight Crime

Pedestrian_border_crossing_sign_Tijuana_Mexico
By Toksave

Tijuana’s murder rate has spiked dramatically in recent months, leaving officials searching for reasons and responses to an emerging security crisis in Mexico‘s northern border city.

As reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune and other outlets, 2016 has been more violent than any recent year for the Baja California border city. Through the first nine months of the year, authorities had registered 636 murders. This puts it on a pace for 848 murders in the whole of the year, which, according to the Tribune’s statistics, would narrowly break the 2010 record of 844, the most violent year in recent memory.

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Organized Crime Dominates in Mexico’s Most Violent Cities

10/03/16 InSight Crime

crime and drugsMany of Mexico’s most violent cities are home to competing criminal groups and drug-fueled conflicts, a clear sign of how organized crime is contributing to the country’s worsening security situation.

The seven most violent cities in Mexico with a population of more than 100,000 are all in the states of either Colima or Guerrero, according to official figures collated by Animal Politico. Both of these states currently serve as battlegrounds between rival cartels.

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Drug-Kingpin Takedowns Spur Turf Wars as Murders Surge in Mexico

08/17/16 Bloomberg

crime and drugsThree years after Mexicans elected President Enrique Pena Nieto on a pledge of putting an end to the murder and violence gripping the nation, killings have returned to the dark days of his predecessor’s administration.

Homicides rose 15 percent to 9,400 in the first half from a year earlier, the government said in July, reaching levels of former President Felipe Calderon’s term. But drug-related killings have soared even more according to one tally: Milenio newspaper, which has tracked organized-crime deaths since 2006, reports a 33 percent surge through July.

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Five Security Priorities for Mexico

1/27/2016 Viridiana Rios, The Expert Take

expert I (2)The Mexico Institute of The Wilson Center gathered a group of academics and experts on security issues, to discuss how Mexico’s security panorama has changed over the last year. The consensus is clear: Mexico’s violence issues are reviving. 

Homicides in Mexico increased by 11% during the last year, reversing the decline in violent crime that had started in 2012 (SNSP 2016). Mexico finished 2015 having about 46 homicides per day, 4 more than the 42 homicides per day that the country had in 2014. To put this number in perspective, from 2012 to 2014, on average, the total number of homicides has declined by about 2,400 every year, but in 2015 it increased by 1,360.

It is time for Mexico to take action. The last time that Mexico saw its homicide rate begin to tick up, rising from a low point in 2007, it took just three years for homicides to double (SNSP 2016). From 2007 to 2010, homicides increased from 10,253 to 20,680 in Mexico as a result of the fracture of large drug trafficking organizations into smaller rival ones. Mexico has still not fully recovered from such a spike in violence. The country is still 66% more violent than it was in 2007.

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Killings surge in Mexico state at tip of Baja

11/26/14 Washington Post 

bajacaliforniasurThe normally bucolic, vacationer-crowded state at the tip of Mexico’s Baja peninsula has become a battleground, with dozens of killings in a power struggle following the capture of drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman nearly a year ago. The bloodshed has been concentrated in La Paz, the capital of Baja California Sur state. In the latest killings, two men bound, gagged and showing signs of torture were dumped onto streets in exclusive neighborhoods Sunday and another person was found shot to death Tuesday. The local newspaper El Sudcaliforniano, which puts the mounting death toll in each headline on stories about violence, has reported 46 homicides in and around the city so far this year. That doesn’t include the apparent shooting victim on a La Paz sidewalk Tuesday. Federal statistics through October counted 48 killings for the entire state.

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Will tensions over security spoil the Obama-Peña Nieto Summit?

obama_nieto_featureAULA Blog, 4/16/13

The meeting in December between recently re-elected President Barack Obama and President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto was marked by cordiality and a desire to talk about anything but the often grisly drug-related violence in Mexico during the previous six years.  Since then, Peña Nieto has continued the changed emphasis, aided by headlines pivoting to positive stories.  Mexico has been recently hailed for its economic growth, particularly in export-oriented manufacturing, and for a series of political compromises that The Washington Post favorably compared with the U.S. Congressional stalemate.

Despite optimistic claims from the government, Mexican media reports indicate that drug-related violence continues at nearly the same pace as last year.  (Click here for a summary and analysis by our colleagues at InSight Crime.)  Moreover, pressure is growing on questions of human rights violations committed in the name of the war on drugs.  When Presidents Peña Nieto and Obama meet again in early May, holding back a renewed focus on security is likely to be a challenge.

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