Intentional homicides by state, Dec. 1, 2012 - June 30, 2014
The numbers are difficult to decipher and the analysis is at times tortuous, but the Tijuana based investigative journal Zeta today reported that during the first 19 months of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) administration of president Peña Nieto, 36,718 people died in acts of violence which the publication largely attributed to Mexico's ongoing drug war.
That number represents so-called homicidios dolosos - intentional murders - during the period Dec. 1, 2012 through June 30, 2014. The average is 1,933 victims per month. Murders in just four Mexican states - Edomex (Estado de México), Guerrero, Michoacán and Jalisco - represent 35% of the total.
When homicidios culposos - the equivalent of manslaughter cases in Anglo-American jurisdictions - are added in, a staggering 57,899 persons have died since Peña Nieto took office (computed through July 31, 2014). Zeta said that in the first 20 months of the presidency of Felipe Calderón, combined homicides of both types were 43,694. In each instance, Zeta cited Mexico's National Public Security Agency (SNSP) as its source.
Zeta's article is here. It was regurgitated by SinEmbargo.com here. Both are liberal media sources, strongly opposed to the organized crime policies of the current and previous administrations.
Zeta has previously accused government officials of lying about drug war deaths. It did so once again today, at least indirectly, by alleging that the National Institute of Statistics (INEGI) - purportedly an autonomous reporting agency - has significantly understated violent deaths on Peña Nieto's watch. It did not make the same allegation against SNSP.
Zeta claims INEGI statistics do not tally with those which it verified with state prosecutors and local court dockets in the nation's 32 entities, and by examining other independent sources of information.
It also concluded that most homicidios dolosos were the product of "executions, 'battles' (between rival cartels or cartels and government security forces), and the result of narcomenudeo" - street drug deals gone bad.
Calling the president's administration "bloody," Zeta noted that just two weeks ago Peña Nieto and his top advisers bragged of an alleged 28% reduction in homicides since the first half of 2012.
Drug war deaths during the Felipe Calderón administration continue to be the subject of 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 about 59,000, approximately 820 per month. Then on Apr. 8, 2013 it spontaneously revised that figure and said the number was 65,362, or 908 per month. But if Zeta's analysis is correct, both versions are a fraction of the stats being racked up by Peña Nieto's PRI administration, which in theory could lead to a death toll of 140,000 during his six year term. The president does not leave office until Nov. 30, 2018.
Mar. 1, 2014 - At 14 months of PRI administration, 21,258 drug war dead
May 4, 2014 - Chapala records 4th murder of foreign resident in 2014
May 14, 2014 - Manuel López Obrador: "Peña Nieto is the new Calderón"
Aug. 16, 2014 - U.S. State Dept.'s latest warning about Mexican travel risks angers Peña Nieto administration
"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 dramatically reduce violence. SinEmbargo and Zeta contend things are far worse today.
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