Friday, October 25, 2013

Drug war deaths on Enrique Peña Nieto's watch: 15,552

Homicide stats in PRI's first 10 months on the job make previous PAN administration's look modest

Guadalajara -
Mexico's Ministry of Public Security reported today that from Dec. 1, 2012 through Sept. 30, 2013, the nation recorded 15,552 homicides connected to organized crime violence and the 82 month old drug war - an average of 1,555 per month since president Enrique Peña Nieto took office with a promise to quell violence within 100 days.

In September alone there were 1,478 such deaths.

On Aug. 31 the same federal agency reported an almost identical murder rate since the new Institutional Revolutionary Party government was sworn in late last year. Mexico admits 52 daily drug war deaths in Peña Nieto administration - 12,598 through July 31.

But PRI functionaries continue to insist criminal homicides have shown a marked decrease in 2013, despite official reports which indicate the contrary. Mexico claims drug war deaths are plummeting. On a recent trip to Panama, the president himself so contended during an interview in which he made no reference to contradictory statistics released by the Ministry's own tabulating and reporting office.

Some media sources have accused the administration of playing fast and loose with the unpleasant numbers. Mexican press: PRI government is lying about drug war deaths (Aug. 27).

After 2012 campaign promises assuring voters that he would implement a different domestic security strategy, with a focus on cutting drug war executions by up to half in the first three months of his six year term, president Peña Nieto later said it would take a year for improvements to become manifest.

But almost all observers now agree that the administration's drug war strategy is a carbon copy of Felipe Calderón Hinojosa's.

Drug war deaths during the Calderón administration continue to be the subject of much debate and disagreement. In late November 2012, just before the former PAN president's term ended, Mexico's Milenio news network reported the tally was 59,000, or about 820 per month. But on Apr. 8, 2013 it spontaneously revised that figure and said the number was 65,362, or 908 per month. Both versions are a fraction of the stats being racked up by the new PRI government, which in theory could lead to a death toll of over 110,000 during its six year term in office. Milenio is a reliable network, considerably more independent than many news sources in this media biased country, and showed Calderón little reporting deference during his own controversial sexenio.

On Feb. 15, Peña Nieto's top cabinet officer, secretary of government Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, said the PRI government believed about 70,000 people died during Calderón's administration. But he added, "There are no official statistics, no hard data, which allow us to state this with any certainty."

Both the present and previous administrations claim that most victims of organized crime violence are members of competing cartels and gangs. The Calderón government said that up to 90% were during its term in office (2006-2012).

Nov. 27 - Over 17,000 people died in drug war violence from Dec. 1, 2012 to Oct. 31, 2013, according to some Mexican press calculations. That's more than 1,500 per month. Suman 17 mil homicidios durante presente administración.

Jan. 7 - Peña Nieto: no option but to follow Calderón strategy
Mar. 11 - Enrique Peña Nieto's three smart decisions
Mar. 30 - The Washington Post has high praise for Enrique Peña Nieto
Apr. 10 - Peña mantiene estrategia de seguridad de Calderón: Madero
May 23 - Fiasco in Michoacán suggests little has changed under new government

© 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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