Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Mexican press: PRI government is lying about drug war deaths - the real number is 13,775, in just eight months

Guadalajara and Jalisco state are among the most dangerous places in Mexico; Yucatán, the safest

*Updated Aug. 31: Mexico admits 52 daily drug war deaths in Enrique Peña Nieto administration - 12,598 through July 31*

Guadalajara -
Two Mexican press sources have blasted the administration of president Enrique Peña Nieto within the past 24 hours, both claiming the nine month old Institutional Revolutionary Party government is presenting a grossly distorted picture of what is actually happening in the almost 81 month old drug war. They particularly took to task secretary of government Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, Peña Nieto's top adviser and most powerful cabinet officer.

On April 10 Osorio Chong told the press, "It's very early to take on a triumphal attitude, but the trend is already apparent." He was referring to what he alleged were significant monthly reductions in drug war deaths since the beginning of 2013.

Just two weeks ago Osorio Chong said drug war deaths are plummeting, and claimed that organized crime homicides in July fell to about 800, a level not seen for at least four years.

Osorio Chong has the president's ear more than anyone else, but he's always in the eye of the storm

Today Peña Nieto himself told the National Public Security Council that narco murders have dropped 14% since he took office on Dec. 1, and 20% when measured by homicides which fall under federal jurisdiction. Peña Nieto claims major progress in drug war.

Those are massive lies, according to two national press sources.

In an article published today, SinEmbargo.com, an all digital publication, claims that executions shot up 37% in July, to an average of 39 per day. With over 1,200 deaths - 50% more than admitted by the administration - last month was the worst so far on Peña Nieto's watch, according to the publication.

SinEmbargo also claims that in the eight month period ending July 31, a total of 8,052 died in drug war violence, or an average of about 34 a day. The publication relied on data compiled by Lantia, a Mexican security consulting firm, and by a private research institute, the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE).

But that was only the beginning of the story.

The Tijuana based digital publication Zeta, which advertises itself "free as the wind," calculates that a staggering 13,775 persons died between Dec. 1 and July 31, far more than the PRI administration has admitted. Read Zeta's full report, published yesterday.

If Zeta's story is accurate, more than 57 Mexicans have died in acts of drug war violence every single day since Enrique Peña Nieto became president, or well over 1,700 a month. Such numbers easily equal or exceed casualties during the administration of former president Felipe Calderón Hinojosa.

Measured by executions under the current government, Jalisco is the fourth most dangerous state in Mexico. Yucatán, with only 21 drug war dead, is the least. Guadalajara is the sixth most dangerous city - just behind violent Ciudad Juárez, and one notch above bloody Monterrey.

To document its case, Zeta says it utilized reports and data compiled by multiple federal and state governmental offices, law enforcement departments, courts and prosecutorial agencies, freedom of information requests, coroners' reports, dozens of local press services and a variety of other sources.

The government has not yet responded to the accusations, which are sure to stir controversy at home and abroad - especially in Washington. Sen. Patrick Leahy blocks $95M in Mérida Initiative funds.

Despite many press prognostications to the contrary, it is now generally accepted that Peña Nieto is following a national security strategy virtually identical to his predecessor's, focused on the same goal of taking down key narco bosses. Mexican army captures leader of Gulf Cartel. The drug war enters its 81st month on Sept. 1. In December the government said it was confronting 60-80 cartels.

Aug. 25 - Civilian militias soar, with citizen police now patrolling 50 counties in 13 Mexican states
Aug. 26 - Ya no tenemos miedo de salir a las calles . . .
Dec. 19 - Mexican Attorney General hands over domestic security reports to Associated Press

A summary of Zeta's Aug. 26 report:

Drug war deaths under Enrique Peña Nieto
Dec. 1, 2012 - July 31, 2013, by state:

1 Guerrero 1,441
2 Chihuahua 1,277
3 Estado de México 1,217
4 Jalisco 1,094
5 Sinaloa 924
6 Nuevo León 586
7 Coahuila 572
8 Baja California 566
9 Michoacán 560
10 Distrito Federal 521
11 Morelos 450
12 Veracruz 440
13 Guanajuato 420
14 Durango 411
15 Tamaulipas 402
16 Chiapas 395
17 Oaxaca 395
18 Sonora 384
19 Puebla 325
20 San Luis Potosí 256
21 Zacatecas 255
22 Quintana Roo 159
23 Nayarit 142
24 Colima 131
25 Hidalgo 117
26 Tabasco 77
27 Querétaro 74
28 Tlaxcala 57
29 Campeche 44
30 Baja California Sur 34
31 Aguascalientes 28
32 Yucatán 21 (Yucatán safety continues to be subject of hot debate)
TOTAL: 13,775

Drug war deaths by city
Dec. 1, 2012 - July 31, 2013:

1 Acapulco 625
2 Distrito Federal 521
3 Tijuana 389
4 Culiacán 334
5 Ciudad Juárez 295
6 Guadalajara 253
7 Monterrey 226
8 Zapopan 199 (Zapopan is suburban Guadalajara)
9 Torreón 171
10 Chihuahua 166
11 Morelia 122

"Mexico is going to change - that's my promise." That's what Enrique Peña Nieto told voters during the 2012 presidential campaign, assuring them of a new drug war strategy, different from Calderón's, which would reduce violence. SimEmbargo and Zeta contend things are the same - or maybe worse.

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

No comments:

Post a Comment