Thursday, June 6, 2013

Mexico records another month with less than a thousand drug war deaths, a pleased government reports

Still, 6,247 have already died in drug war violence on Peña Nieto's watch

Guadalajara -
The six month old administration of PRI president Enrique Peña Nieto considers any month with less than a thousand drug war deaths to be worth bragging about, and it did so today with the release of May's official report.

The Department of Government (SEGOB) said there were 954 drug war related homicides last month, and 927 of of the victims (97%) were involved in criminal activity. Since the drug war was launched in December 2006, Mexico has consistently maintained that most of those killed belonged to competing cartels and gangs. Moreover, it insists most were eliminated by rivals, not by public security forces.

SEGOB also reported that 24 law enforcement officers or public servants died in the line of duty in May, together with three bystanders. Since Peña Nieto took office on Dec. 1 about one officer a day has died in operations against drug traffickers and organized crime. 100 police officers and soldiers killed in PRI's first 90 days

The May report was almost 100 better than April's. But not everybody accepts the numbers at face value. Mexico says drug war deaths are plummeting.

On May 27 Guadalajara's El Informador claimed the former PAN government and the present PRI one have played fast and loose with statistics, releasing preliminary data long before all the information is available - and then never updating their reports. The death numbers don't add up, it argued.

According to the government, May was the second lowest month for drug war deaths in Peña Nieto's administration. In February 914 died. But the embarrassing statistic was 6,247 - the total of those killed since the president took office late last year, with the promise to drastically curb violence.

For the third time this year, Mexico's Milenio network, which closely covers the conflict, was forced to confess error in its own analysis of May deaths. On June 1 it reported 902 victims, which would have been the best month so far for Peña Nieto. Mayo, el menos violento en los últimos 7 meses. Today SEGOB said that number was 52 short.

SEGOB also reported today a laundry list of cash, drugs and weaponry decommissioned in May, which is available here.

Apr. 2 - Mexico's March drug war tally was 1,025 dead, with Jalisco state in fourth place nationwide

© MGRR 2013. All rights reserved. This article may be cited or briefly quoted with proper attribution or a hyperlink, but not reproduced without permission.

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