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Among the country's 50 most violent municipalities, Tijuana saw one of the biggest reductions in murders. Among the country's 50 most violent municipalities, Tijuana saw one of the biggest reductions in murders.

Homicides declined 3.6% in 2021; Guanajuato continues to be most violent state

Half the murders occurred in the nation's six most violent states

Homicides declined 3.6% in 2021 but exceeded 30,000 for a fourth consecutive year, preliminary government data shows.

There were 33,308 homicides last year, a reduction of 1,246 compared to 2020, Security Minister Rosa Icela Rodríguez reported Thursday at President López Obrador’s regular news conference.

The decline follows a 0.4% reduction in murders in 2020 after Mexico recorded its most violent year on record in 2019 – López Obrador’s first full year in office – with 34,690 homicides.

There were 102,552 homicides between 2019 and 2021 for an average of 94 per day, a 20% increased compared to the last three years of Enrique Peña Nieto’s 2012-18 presidency.

Rodríguez noted that 50.1% of all homicides last year occurred in just six states. Guanajuato was once again the most violent state in terms of total homicides with 3,516 murder victims, while Baja California ranked second with 3,014.

Security Minister Rosa Icela Rodríguez presents kidnapping data at Thursday's presidential press conference.
Security Minister Rosa Icela Rodríguez presents kidnapping data at Thursday’s presidential press conference. Presidencia de la República

Michoacán, México state, Chihuahua and Jalisco ranked third to sixth, respectively. Each of those states recorded more than 2,300 homicides last year. Rounding out the 10 most violent states in 2021 were Sonora, Zacatecas, Guerrero and Veracruz.

Four states recorded fewer than 100 homicides. They were Yucatán, 42; Baja California Sur, 51; Aguascalientes, 86; and Campeche, 96.

Rodríguez also presented data that showed that homicides declined 1.3% in Mexico’s 50 most violent municipalities between August and December compared to the same period of 2020. The federal government ramped up security efforts in those municipalities in late July.

The security minister observed that Tijuana – Mexico’s most violent city – Ensenada and Salamanca recorded the biggest reductions in murders among the 50.

“We need to improve in Cajeme, [Sonora] and in … Zamora and Jacona in Michoacán,” Rodríguez said, referring to the three municipalities with the biggest increases.

While homicides declined last year, femicides – the killing of women and girls on account of their gender – increased 2.7% to 1,004.

The figure is more than double the number recorded in 2015, when 427 femicides were registered, but the government claims that its predecessors incorrectly classified many murders of women as homicides.

Among the other crimes that increased last year were extortion, up 12.3% to over 9,400 reported incidents; rape, up 28.1% to more than 21,000 alleged assaults; and muggings, up 9.3% to almost 74,500.

Among those that declined were kidnappings, down 22.3% to 811 reported incidents; business robberies, down 8.9% to almost 86,800; and home burglaries, down 4.8% to just under 60,500 reported break-ins.

Deputy Security Minister Ricardo Mejía also spoke at Thursday’s press conference to highlight “some of the main arrests” security forces have executed since López Obrador took office.

Among those he mentioned were the capture of San Rosa de Lima Cartel leader José Antonio “El Marro” Yépez Ortiz in August 2020 and the apprehension of Rosalinda González Valencia, wife of Jalisco New Generation Cartel leader Nemesio “El Mencho” Oseguera Cervantes, last November. Yépez was sentenced to 60 years in prison late last week.

With reports from El Universal 

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