The first quarter of 2017 was Mexico’s most violent since 1997 with March standing out for the number of homicides: the third highest in the last 20 years.
The information came in a report on high-impact crimes released this week by the National Citizens’ Observatory (ONC), a civil society organization, which revealed that 2,020 new homicide cases were reported in March and that 64% of those were committed with firearms.
In total there were 2,256 homicide victims during the month, with 10% of murders having more than one victim.
ONC director Francisco Rivas declared that at least 40% of Mexican states face a “profound crisis of violence” and lack adequate policies to combat crime.
“And that doesn’t mean that 60% of the country is doing well,” Rivas cautioned. “There are states that are bad, others so-so and 10% of the country with acceptable conditions.”
“If we compare March in terms of the number of homicides with all months since 1997, we find that it is the third worst only after May and June of 2011, which we know is considered the most violent year in Mexico’s history,” Rivas stated in an interview with the newspaper El Universal.
The ONC report points out that 40.91% of all murders in March were committed in the states of Guerrero, México, Veracruz, Baja California and Chihuahua.
Murders per 100,000 inhabitants were highest in Baja California Sur, Colima and Guerrero.
Baja California Sur has seen “an excessive increase in crime” and Baja California “has gone backwards” despite being “one of the few states with relative success in creating preventative policies.”
The organization attributes rising crime to turf wars not only between organized crime groups but against the state and to a lack of expertise, ability, equipment and coordination on the part of authorities.
Rivas believes that high levels of impunity and the financial structures of criminal organizations translate into crime rates being replicated across Mexico.
“After two years of continual increases in homicides in the country and in accordance with official data that shows increases in the 10 high-impact crimes analyzed by the ONC, we can assert that the current strategy to combat crime has not achieved the expected results,” Rivas concluded in his presentation of the report.
March was the worst month for all of the high-impact crimes analyzed by the ONC in the first quarter of 2017 and statistics also showed an across-the-board increase compared to the same period in 2016.
Following are details from the ONC report.
Up 12.57% from 3,635 cases (first quarter of 2016) to 4,092 (first quarter of 2017) or one new case on average across the country every 31 minutes.
Up 19.75% from 324 cases to 388, or one new case every five hours.
Up 29.55% from 1,137 cases to 1,473, one new case every 95 minutes.
• Violent robbery
Up 32.31% from 39,987 cases to 52,906, one new case every two minutes.
• Vehicle theft
Up 13.1% from 39,431 cases to 44,598, one new case every two minutes.
• Home burglary
Up 3.18% from 20,145 cases to 20,785, one new case every six minutes.
• Business theft
Up 47.43% from 16,037 cases to 23,643, one new case every five minutes.
Up 31.69% from 14,753 cases to 19,428, one new case every six minutes.
Up 5.74% from 2,908 cases to 3,075, one new case every 36 minutes.