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Violence rages on in Mexico

Homicide rate in Mexico has not improved under EPN's administration and despite a decrease in the country's overall rate between 2012 and 2015, the homicide rate in other states remains at 2,000 homicides per year

Photo: El Universal Archives
English 21/09/2016 18:12 Daniela Guazo Actualizada 18:33

Violence in Mexico has not decreased under Enrique Peña Nieto's administration. Despite a decrease in the overall national homicide rate between 2012 and 2015, the homicide rate in Guerrero and Chihuahua has remained unchanged at 2,000 homicides per year, according to the National Institute of Statistics and Geogrpahy (INEGI). Colima and Baja California Sur, states that in 2012 weren't even in the top ten most dangerous states in Mexico, now have homicide rates that are twice that the national average.

According to analysts, the federal government has taken on a more aggressive approach, similar to the one implemented by former President Felipe Calderón, and now, instead of improving, the homicide rate is once again on the rise, according to government released records. “We might take control of a city like Acapulco, or any other city, but the government focusing its efforts on one specific area just causes criminals to go elsewhere,” said Jonathan Fruszyfer, coordinator at México Evalúa's Security Program, an organization that analyzes public records and data.

The average homicide rate during Peña Nieto's administration is 1,800 total homicides per month and 21,600 per year. Specialists believe that if this trend continues, the total number of homicides in 2018 may be 8,000 homicides higher than those reported during Calderon's term.

In 2012, violence occurred primarily in the country's northern region and except for Guerrero, the state with the second highest homicide rate at the time, the states with the highest homicide rates were Durango, Sinaloa and Tamaulipas. Each of these states reported an average of 1,800 homicides per year.

“Both presidents' strategies are exactly the same: just put out the flames. Yes, they might sometimes manage to put out the fire, but they never consider the long term effects of their actions” explained Furszyfer.

According to Furszyfer, the current strategy simply isn't enough to truly solve the problem. He says that the results of their actions are short lived and do nothing to actually prevent violence, and not only that, but they just end up creating resentment towards the Federal Police in the long run.

Violence in Mexico is no longer concentrated in the country's northern region, and is instead now dispersed throughout the entire country. Baja California's homicide rate increased from 5 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants in 2012 to 23 homicides in 2015.

Jonathan Furszyfer believes that access to more and better information will help us understand why this epidemic is no longer isolated and is starting to occur throughout the entire country, and more importantly, why it's not improving basically anywhere.

According to an analysis released by the organization during Peña Nieto's 4th State of the Union Address, they confirmed that the government's violent crackdowns throughout the country are not working. "An example is the Tierra Caliente region. Ever since the Marines, Federal Police and Armed Forces intervened in the area, the homicide rate has been on the rise," he explained.

This past July ended up being the most violent month during Peña Nieto's presidency, just 2,000 homicides less than Felipe Calderón's most violent month (October 2012). The only thing that has truly changed is the name the current administration calls their strategy. 

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