Violence and crime strike Mexico

Durazo emphasized the importance of the National Guard and how it will help solve the security problems in each of the regions

Violence and crime strike Mexico
Violent homicides and crime have hit a large part of the country - Photo: Jose Luis Gonzalez/REUTERS
English 21/04/2019 15:30 Misael Zavala, Alberto Morales y Manuel Espino Mexico City Actualizada 15:41
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Despite its claims that in the last three months the new administration was able to “break the increasing crime tendency” in the country, the federal government added more areas to the list of place that requires urgent attention, as a result of the increasing crime rates. The list went from 21 to 45 areas.

The Security and Citizen Protection Ministry (SSPC) established 15 special municipalities, then added 2 more, where 10,000 federal elements operate; then it increased to 21 and yesterday, it added 24 more municipalities located in the states of Michoacán, Baja California Sur, Veracruz, Morelos, State of Mexico, Nayarit, San Luis Potosí, and Sonora.

The head of the SSPC, Alfonso Durazo Montaño, announced that at the end of 2019, security will be reinforced in the 24 remaining areas, with the help of the National Guard.

Also, security in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas will be reinforced soon, with the help of soldiers, marines, and the federal police while the National Guard is ready to operate, as the region has been struck by the Gulf and Los Zetas cartels.

Among the new 24 additions to the list, those labeled as priorities are Cuernavaca, Morelia, Uruapan, the Lázaro Cárdenas port, Oaxaca city, Hermosillo, Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl, Querétaro city, San Luis Potosí city, La Paz, Fresnillo, Tlaxcala city, Puebla city, and Villahermosa; but a date is yet to be set for the operation to begin.

It was also revealed that the list of priority regions could increase to 70. Durazo emphasized the importance of the National Guard and how it will help solve the security problems in each of the regions.

The government official explained that increasing the number of security elements in troubled areas has shown positive results, such as the case of Tijuana, a city where up to 21 homicides took place every day and now “there are between two and six, of course, six homicides are many but of course, when compared to 21, it is a development.”

He explained that Guadalajara, Jalisco, is another example, as the homicide numbers have been decreasing but also said that “Ciudad Juárez is the also a priority region where we haven't been able to contain the crime rates yet.”

Durazo Montaño also denied an increase in violent deaths since President López Obrador took office, as shown by numbers from the National Public Security System.

The official claimed that 2018 is still the most violent year and that the increasing tendency in intentional homicide has been controlled by the current government.

He also echoed what the President said about receiving a country “in ruins since the time of the Revolution there hadn't been violence levels like the ones affecting us now. And we are not going to hide this reality.”

Durazo went on to explain that “this insecurity situation didn't generate from one day to another and it would be irresponsible to pretend to solve it overnight.”

Last Monday, EL UNIVERSAL published an article where security experts estimate that the first of 2019 will be the most violent period ever registered, based on the comparison between the daily homicide reports from the SESNSP, where there is a 20% underestimation.

According to the daily intentional homicide report issued by the federal government, during the first three months of 2019, 7,056 violent deaths were registered in the country, an average of 78 every day. Nevertheless, the number could increase to 8,500 as a result of the estimation of an everyday 20% increase, in contrast with the monthly reports issued by the SESNSP.

Durazo explained that in August 2018, 2,907 homicides were registered; in September 2018, 2,917; October 2018, 2,812; November 2018, 2,687; in December 2018 there was as in crease, 2,875; in January 2019, 2,853; 2,796 in February 2019, and in March 2019 there was a decrease to 2,404.

The official insisted that the reports of violent deaths in 2019 “are indicators that at this point, we have been able to break with the increasing crime tendency that marked 2018.”


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