Homicides decreased slightly in August compared to July but murder numbers for the first eight months of the year are 1.5% higher than in the same period of 2019, Security Minister Alfonso Durazo said Friday.
Presenting crime data at the president’s morning news conference, Durazo said that there were 2,973 homicides in August, a reduction of 0.5% compared to the 2,987 murders in July.
There were 23,471 homicides in the first eight months of 2020, a 1.5% increase compared to the same period of 2019, which was the most violent year on record in Mexico.
Durazo said that homicides decreased in 21 states in the eight-month period to the end of August but increased in the other 11.
They increased 64.1% in Zacatecas, 61.3% in Yucatán, 50.2% in San Luis Potosí, 34% in Michoacán, 32.1% in Guanajuato, 26.5% in Sonora, 15.7% in Hidalgo, 11% in Chihuahua, 10.6% in Campeche, 6.9% in Aguascalientes and 2.5% in Durango.
Some of those states, such as Yucatán, Aguascalientes and Campeche, recorded low numbers of homicides last year, meaning that significant percentage increases can be recorded even when murder figures remain relatively low in comparison with many other states.
In sheer numbers, Guanajuato was the most violent state in Mexico between January and August with 3,002 homicides. Chihuahua ranked second, with 1,946, followed by Baja California, México state and Jalisco, where there were 1,924, 1,902 and 1,704 murders, respectively.
Durazo said that homicides in Guanajuato, where the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel are engaged in a vicious turf war, have declined since the capture of José Antonio Yépez Ortiz, leader of the former organization, on August 2.
The government can’t “sing victory” yet but there have been days with very low numbers of homicides in the Bajío region state, the security minister said.
Durazo also reported that femicides – the killing of women and girls on account of their gender – increased to 78 in August from 74 in July and that cases of kidnapping rose to 86 from 80.
There were 645 femicides in the first eight months of the year, a 2.2% increased compared to the same period last year, and 704 cases of kidnapping, a 39% reduction.
Durazo highlighted that federal offenses committed by organized crime increased 53.8% in the first eight months of the year but asserted that the government is working to reduce their incidence.
Federal organized crime offenses include terrorism, arms trafficking, human trafficking, trafficking of human organs and sexual crimes against children.
There were 123 cases of such crimes between January and August, 43 more than in the same period of 2019.