Thursday, December 25, 2014
41,000 dead on Enrique Peña Nieto's watch
In the 23 month period beginning Dec. 1, 2012 and ending Oct. 31, 2014, Mexico recorded 41,015 homicides, according to the Tijuana based news magazine Zeta and the Milenio network this month.
With a population of about 120 million people, that equates to 34.2 murders per 100,000 residents, a common international standard for measuring criminal violence.
According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in 2012, the year Enrique Peña Nieto was elected president and took office, Mexico's homicide rate was 21.5 per 100,000, Canada's was 1.6 and the United States' was 4.7.
The current Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) administration, the first to hold the presidency since 1999, has frequently contended over the last two years that so-called homicidios dolosos - intentional murders - have plummeted under Mr. Peña Nieto's leadership.
The Mexican states of Edomex (Estado de Mexico), which adjoins the capital's city limits, and the Pacific coast state of Guerrero lead the nation in homicides. Chihuahua is in third place, while Baja California, just south of the U.S. border, has shown a sharp increase in murder rates, rising to ninth place out of Mexico's 32 entities.
Although the statistics technically include homicide for any motive, Zeta maintains most of them are drug war related, and include executions carried out by rival cartels and gangs, battles with federal and state security forces and the inevitable results of narcomenudeo - street narcotics transactions.
Zeta bases its drug war death analyses on state and federal prosecutorial files, homicide reports from police departments and citizens and Mexican press accounts of local and regional violence, among other sources. It contends that PRI officials have substantially understated the real toll.
Zeta claims that 83,191 homicides occurred during the six year term of previous National Action Party president Felipe Calderón, who was widely criticized for launching Mexico's assault on the cartels in December 2006. According to the publication, the Peña Nieto government has matched almost half of that in just 23 months. In April 2013 Milenio offered a lower number, reporting over 65,000 persons were killed during Calderón's tenure.
Aug. 25 - Mexican press: homicides under Peña Nieto far exceed those under Felipe Calderón
Aug. 20 - Violent Michoacán sets eight year record in homicides
May 8 - Mexico says insecurity costs it $16.6 billion USD annually, and 50 lives a day
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at 2:17 PM