Crime in Guerrero has seen an overall 32% decline so far in 2020, Navy Minister Rafael Ojeda Durán reported Friday. Murder is down 50% and kidnapping has plummeted 70% in the first half of 2020, he said.
The drop in numbers represents a significant accomplishment for Guerrero. In June 2017 the state had the second-highest crime rate in the nation, three years later it ranks at 20th.
Guerrero comes in at 24th in the nation for car theft and robbery, and seventh for the number of murders. However, in extortion it ranks 14th, marking an upward trend.
Although public safety in Acapulco is improving, it remains a concern, being among the municipalities with the highest crime rate, along with Chilpancingo and Zihuatanejo.
Governor Héctor Astudillo Flores cited the creation of the National Guard and the certification and improvement of municipal and state police forces as factors for the decline in crime, as well as daily meetings by a working group for peace in the state.
Executive secretary of the National Public Security System, Leonel Cota Montaño, said that state police have improved their operational capacity, and local forces have benefited from the federal government’s Contribution Fund for Strengthening Municipalities (FORTAMUN) which helps improve and equip municipal police forces.
New crimefighting tools have also had an effect. State Attorney General Jorge Zuriel de los Santos Barrila reported that a ballistic fingerprint database has been created in coordination with the Ministry of National Defense, which will help identify weapons used to commit crimes. A federal vehicle recovery system has also been developed which allows citizens whose cars have been stolen to review and monitor their cases online.
Authorities also pointed to the arrest earlier this week of two prominent cartel members as evidence of the state’s crackdown.
José Ángel Galeana Palacios, alias “El Capuchino,” leader of the Acapulco Independent Cartel, has been charged with three murders that occurred in 2016, and his second in command, known as “El Negro Pipa,” was charged with the murder of political YouTube star Pamela Montenegro Real, known as “Nana Pelucas” or “Grandma Wigs,” in 2018.