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Mexico's Security Minister Rosa Icela Rodriguez Security Minister Rosa Icela Rodríguez presented security numbers for January–June 2022 at President López Obrador's daily press conference on Wednesday.

Homicides down, but AMLO’s 6-year term still likely to be most violent in decades

At this rate, AMLO's presidential term will see more murders than that of his two predecessors

Homicides declined 9.1% in the first six months of the year, the federal security minister reported Wednesday, but this six-year period of government nevertheless remains on track to be the most violent in recent decades.

There were 15,400 murders between January and June, 1,548 fewer than in the same period of 2021, according to data presented by Rosa Icela Rodríguez at President López Obrador’s regular news conference.

Homicides in June totaled 2,662, a reduction of one compared to the same month in 2021 but 164 fewer than in May. Rodríguez said the June homicide figures were the lowest for that month in five years.

Six highly violent states continue to account for almost half of all homicides. Of the 15,400 recorded in the first six months of the year, 7,505, or almost 49%, occurred in Guanajuato, Michoacán, Baja California, México state, Jalisco and Chihuahua.

graph on homicides during terms of Mexico's presidents
While this government graph shows fewer murders during AMLO’s term than that of the two previous presidents, he’s on track to surpass their numbers over the next two years.

Guanajuato, where criminal organizations such as the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, the Sinaloa Cartel and the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel operate, remains Mexico’s most violent state with 1,566 homicides in the first half of 2022. Just over one in 10 homicides this year occurred in the Bajío region state.

Rodríguez also presented data that showed that López Obrador’s six-year term is on track to be the most violent presidential period in recent years. There have been almost 120,000 homicides since AMLO took office about three and a half years ago, the security minister’s graph showed, compared to just over 121,600 during the entire six years of Felipe Calderón’s 2006–12 presidency.

Enrique Peña Nieto’s 2012–18 presidency was the most violent six-year term of government in recent decades with over 157,000 homicides, but that figure will be exceeded during the course of this federal government unless murders decline significantly during the next two years.

At the beginning of her report, Rodríguez asserted that Mexico’s overall crime rate is on the wane and highlighted that the federal government’s security strategy involves coordination with state and municipal governments using “intelligence and concrete actions to deliver precision shots to criminal structures.”

Map of cartel activity in Guanajuato state
The state of Guanajuato, in which several organized crime groups operate, remains the state with the most homicides in 2022. @David_Saucedo_/Twitter

“And we have results: a downward trend in the incidence of crime,” Rodríguez said.

The security minister pointed out that there were 25.1% fewer federal jurisdiction crimes in June than in the first month of the current government. She presented data that showed that drug trafficking offenses and tax and financial crimes all declined in the first six months of this year compared to the same period of 2021, but assaults, firearms offenses and property crimes all increased.

Rodríguez also said that common jurisdiction crimes have declined, highlighting that total robberies – including home burglaries and vehicle theft – declined 29.4% last month compared to the all-time high recorded in October 2017. However, a graph she presented showed that robberies have recently trended upwards.

There were 89 femicides in June, the highest monthly figure this year, but Rodríguez emphasized that the figure represented a 20.5% decline compared to the “historic maximum” of August 2021. In the first six months of the year, there was a total of 493 femicides, putting Mexico on track to record a slight reduction in that crime compared to 2021, when 1,016 women and girls were killed on account of their gender.

Families of kidnapping victims protesting in Mexico
Abductions have generally declined during López Obrador’s presidency, according to federal numbers.

“We’re continuing to work in a preventative manner and we’re also working to sanction femicides,” Rodríguez said.

She highlighted that kidnappings declined 73% last month to 50 victims compared to January 2019 when there were 185. Her graph showed that abductions have generally declined during López Obrador’s presidency.

“The work that has been done with the National Anti-Kidnapping Coordination and with the anti-kidnapping units in all the states is important,” Rodríguez said.

“Here it’s seen very clearly how this crime has declined,” she said, adding that 1,401 people have been arrested for kidnapping during the current government, 503 kidnapping rings have been broken up and 2,013 victims have been rescued.

Mexico News Daily 

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