Homicides declined 2.2% in June compared to May but Mexico remains on track to record its most violent year in recent history in 2020.
Federal government data shows that there were 2,851 homicides last month, 65 fewer than the number recorded in May.
The homicide figures for June represented the fifth lowest monthly total since President López Obrador took office in December 2018. It was the third consecutive month that murder numbers declined.
However, Security Minister Alfonso Durazo acknowledged on Monday that the figures are still “very high in absolute terms.”
Indeed, homicides for the first six months of 2020 total 17,493, a 1.7% increase compared to the same period of 2019, the most violent year since national murder records were first kept in 1997.
The data shows that the coronavirus crisis and the federal government’s stay-at-home advice have done little to curb the violence plaguing the country.
However, Durazo said that much of the violence is concentrated in a small number of regions, specifically citing the municipalities of Guadalajara and Tlajomulco in Jalisco; Manzanillo, Colima; and Zamora, Michoacán.
“We never thought that the [homicide] numbers, the crime rate, would go down from one day to the next. If the increase [in murders] was the product of a long social process, its decrease will also be the product of a long social process,” he said.
Guanajuato remains the most violent state in the country based on homicide statistics for the first half of the year, with 2,293 murders between January and June. México state ranks second followed by Chihuahua, Baja California and Jalisco.
While overall murders declined slightly last month, femicides – the killing of women and girls on account of their gender – surged 35.6%, data shows.
There were 99 femicide victims in June compared to 73 in May. The figure is the highest since December 2018 when 100 women and girls were killed as the result of gender-based violence.
There were a total of 489 femicides in the first six months of 2020, a 9.1% increased compared to the same period of last year.
Durazo described femicides as “one of the most sensitive matters” and acknowledged that a stronger effort was required to combat the crime.
Kidnappings also showed a big increase last month. They were up 35% over May.
Extortion, rape and muggings also increased.
Source: Milenio (sp)