Intentional homicides, top, and kidnapping figures over the past 12 months. Intentional homicides, top, and kidnapping figures over the past 12 months. SNSP/milenio

April’s 2,343 homicides make it the third worst month since 1997

In contrast, cases of kidnapping were down 13%

A total of 2,343 reported intentional homicides made April the third most violent month in Mexico since 1997, according to statistics from the National Public Security System (SNSP).

The figure is 12 less than the number of homicides recorded in October 2017 — the most violent month in the 21-year period — and just seven less than the number reported in March of this year.

That means that the three worst months for homicides have all been within the past seven months.

With a combined total of 4,693 intentional homicides, the two-month period of March and April 2018 was the bloodiest the SNSP has registered in its more than two decades of record-keeping.

Since the first half of 2017, the federal government has implemented a range of security operations aimed at combating violence in different parts of the country but the homicide rate has shown little sign of abating.

There have been more than 2,000 homicides reported every month since May 2017 and last year, with 29,168 homicides, was the most violent in at least two decades.

Of last month’s 2,343 intentional homicides, firearms were used in 1,595 cases or 68% of the overall number, while 10% of deaths were the result of stab wounds. The murder method used in the remainder of cases was not specified.

In April, 70 reported murders were classified as femicides, meaning that the victims were killed by men on account of their gender.

That figure matches the number of femicides committed in June 2017, making the two months the worst since authorities started keeping separate figures for the crime in 2015.

A firearm was used in just 17 of last month’s 70 cases of femicide, a number that equates to just under a quarter of the total.

Bladed weapons — including knives — were used in a further 14 cases, meaning that more than half of all femicides were committed using a method other than the two most commonly used, according to overall homicide statistics.

Extortion cases April 2017 to April 2018.
Extortion cases April 2017 to April 2018. snsp/milenio

While the murder rate rose 21.3% in the 12-month period to April 2018, kidnapping dropped by 13.1% in the same period.

There were 80 reported cases last month, 14 fewer than March.

That was the third lowest rate recorded over the past 13 months, behind January and February of this year with 76 and 74 cases respectively.

The kidnapping rate has gone up and down this year but extortion, also considered a high impact crime by the SNSP, has consistently trended upwards since December and was up 23.3% last month compared to April of last year.

There were 513 reported cases of the crime last month, 22% more than the 420 cases recorded in the last month of 2017.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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