Scene of a homicide investigation. Scene of a homicide investigation.

Almost 3,000 homicides last month made it the worst August in 20 years

With more than 22,000 in first eight months, the year is shaping up to be the worst ever recorded

There were almost 3,000 homicides last month, making it the most violent August in Mexico in the past two decades.

This year is also on track to surpass 2017 as the most violent year in recent history, with more than 22,000 murders already recorded.

Statistics from the National Public Security System (SNSP) show that there were 2,861 homicide victims in August and 68 victims of femicide — women and girls who were killed on account of their gender.

While it was the most violent August of the past 20 years, the figure is 5% less than the number of murders recorded in July.

The number of homicides for the first eight months of the year, at 22,411, is almost 85% higher than the figure recorded in the same period of 2015 and almost 4,000 more than the number recorded in the same period last year.

This year, there have been on average almost four homicides per hour, adding up to a daily death toll of more than 90 men and women.

Colima, Baja California, Guerrero, Chihuahua and Guanajuato registered, in that order, the highest per-capita murder rates.

However, in sheer numbers Guanajuato has been the most violent state in Mexico this year with 1,671 homicide victims between January and August.

A significant number of the deaths in the state are believed to be related to pipeline petroleum theft.

The Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG), considered Mexico’s most dangerous and powerful criminal organization, is involved in a turf war in Guanajuato with the crime gang known as Santa Rosa de Lima over the illicit fuel trade and to control extortion and kidnapping rackets, the newspaper El Universal said.

The second highest number of homicides in the first eight months of the year was recorded in Guerrero, with 1,507, followed by México state, with 1,472, Chihuahua with 1,293 and Jalisco with 1,216.

The next highest figures were recorded in Veracruz, Michoacán and Mexico City.

Extortion also increased this year by 12.4% compared to the same period last year but kidnapping is down 18%, statistics show.

Last year was the most violent year since the SNSP started keeping comparable statistics in 1997.

In January, the Interior Secretariat reported that there were 29,168 homicides in 2017 but in May, the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi) said that the real figure was more than 2,000 higher.

The incoming federal government, which will take office on December 1, has indicated that it wishes to change tack on security and has said it will consider legalizing some drugs and adopting an amnesty law for low-level criminals.

However, for the foreseeable future, the military will continue to play a role in carrying out public security duties, president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador said last month.

Source: Animal Político (sp), El Universal (sp) 

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