2018: the bloodiest year in Mexican history

The highest violence rate was registered in 2017 when there were 28,866 intentional homicide victims

2018: the bloodiest year in Mexican history
Crime and violence have increased in the last decade - Photo: Rebecca Blackwell/REUTERS
English 27/01/2019 15:45 AFP Mexico City Actualizada 15:45
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The number of homicides in Mexico increased exponentially in 2018 when they reached 33,341 homicides, the highest rate since 1997.

The highest violence rate was registered in 2017 when there were 28,866 intentional homicide victims.

The number of homicides in Mexico has increased since 2006, when Felipe Calderón's administration, 2006-2012, launched a controversial war against organized crime.

Over 200,000 people have died violently since the Mexican government launched a war against organized crime in 2006, according to official numbers; nevertheless, these numbers don't explain how many cases are linked to organized crime.

During Enrique Peña Nieto's administration, 2012-2018, the number of homicides increased. In December 2018, during the first month of the new administration, led by López Obrador, there were 2,842 homicide victims, a 10% increased compared to December 2017.

In 2018, several states that have been struck by violence linked to organized crime had high homicide rates for every 100,000 inhabitants.

The highest rate was registered in Colima, with 81.09 homicides for every 100,000 inhabitants.

Colima is followed Baja California, in northern Mexico, and Guerrero, in the south.

The polemic National Guard

Experts attribute this increase in the homicide rate to the imbalance in the work of the security bodies in the country.

“I think the army was paralyzed in operations against drug trafficking because of the fear of being accused of violating human rights,” said Raúl Benítez, an expert from the UNAM.

Mike Vigil, a former DEA agent, explains that the spiral of violence is also explained by the clashes between several organized crime groups.

“It's a conflict between cartels, the conflict between the Jalisco Nueva Generación cartel and the Sinaloa cartel,” he said.

“But there are also many cartels that are looking to gain more territories, gaining more power, and becoming translational groups,” he explained.

The current government's strategy to face violence implies the creation of a new militarized guard, whose creation was approved by the lower chamber and which has sparked criticism from the opposition and human rights organizations.

The critics say that the use of the armed forces has promoted more violence and human rights violations.

The government has also worked on the decriminalization of marijuana and poppy, which is used to produce heroin but it's also a powerful sedative.


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