Last year was the least violent year since President López Obrador took office in 2018, official homicide data shows, but the number of murder victims nevertheless exceeded 30,000.
There were 30,968 homicides in 2022, according to data presented by Security Minister Rosa Icela Rodríguez at the president’s regular press conference on Tuesday.
The figure is 7.1% lower than the 33,350 homicides in 2021 and 10.8% lower than the record high of 34,718 in 2019. However, homicides remain at historically high levels, with a steady level of over 30,000 each year since 2018.
Last year’s homicide count equates to just under 85 homicides per day.
Still, Rodríguez chose to highlight that homicide numbers have trended downwards since López Obrador took office, whereas they increased significantly during the six-year periods that former presidents Felipe Calderón and Enrique Peña Nieto were in power.
She also noted that last month was the least violent December in six years, with 2,530 homicides.
The last 12 months of data show that Guanajuato retained the unenviable title of Mexico’s most violent state in 2022 with 3,260 homicides. The state is home to popular tourist destinations such as San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato city, but most violence in the state is concentrated outside those municipalities.
Rodríguez noted that homicides in the Bajío region state declined 7.3% compared to 2021, when 3,516 murders were recorded.
Just under half of all homicides last year – 48.6% – occurred in Guanajuato and five other states: Baja California, México state, Michoacán, Jalisco and Chihuahua. The good news for those states was that they all had fewer homicides in 2022 than in 2021, with Chihuahua seeing the largest decline: an 18.7% drop to 1,974 murders.
Rodríguez said that homicides across 50 highly violent “priority” municipalities fell 11.7% last year compared to 2021, although murders increased in Tijuana, which was Mexico’s most violent city in 2022.
Yucatán was the least violent state last year, with just 39 homicides. Three other states — Baja California Sur, Aguascalientes and Campeche — recorded fewer than 100 homicides.
The security minister also presented 2022 data for a range of other crimes. Among the crimes whose incidence declined last year compared to 2021 were:
- financial crimes
- drug trafficking
- cattle theft
- business robberies
Among those whose incidence increased were firearms offenses and highway robbery of transport trucks.
With reports from El Financiero