Drug dealing and intentional homicide rates both increased in Mexico City in the first quarter of 2018, according to a joint report by the National and Mexico City Citizens’ Observatories, but kidnapping and extortion were down.
Retail drug trafficking, known in Spanish as narcomenudeo, soared by 113.3% in the first three months of the year compared to the first quarter of 2017, while the murder rate increased by 15.5%.
Drug dealing in the southern borough of Tláhuac, where a 218% increase was recorded, provided the biggest impetus for the rise.
The figure spiked despite security forces killing the leader of the Tláhuac Cartel known as “El Ojos” (The Eyes) in a violent confrontation in July, after which narco-blockades made an unprecedented appearance in Mexico City.
The boroughs of Cuauhtémoc and Venustiano Carranza experienced the second and third biggest rises, increasing by 38.6% and 16.9% respectively.
A 2017 report by the Mexico City Public Security Secretariat (SSP) and the Attorney General’s office said that in January of that year there were 20,000 locations where drugs were bought and sold in the capital but despite being aware of the problem, authorities have been unable to combat it.
The observatories’ report showed that the number of intentional homicides was the second highest since 1997, with 3.2 new cases reported per 100,000 residents.
Almost three-quarters of all murders committed in January, February and March involved the use of a firearm and nine out of every 10 victims were men, it said.
During the presentation of the report yesterday, National Citizens’ Observatory director Francisco Rivas said that “Mexico City is living through an insecurity problem.”
“That’s what [data from National Statistics Institute] Inegi has shown and that should be the first wake-up call for authorities,” he added.
On average, there are three intentional homicides, 85 violent robberies, 26 vehicle thefts, 20 home burglaries, 43 business robberies and 40 muggings in Mexico City every day, statistics show.
In better news, the citizens’ groups recognized that the rates for negligent homicides, kidnappings, muggings, vehicle theft and rape have continued to decline.
The Mexico City Attorney General’s office (PGJ) said that kidnappings fell by 13% in 2017 and extortion decreased by 19.4% compared to 2016 figures.
In comparison with many other states, the abduction rate in the capital was already low.
There were 40 reported cases last year— fewer than 2016 — which the PGJ said ranked Mexico City 21st in the country, according to the number of kidnappings in 2017.
Kidnapping statistics from the National Public Security System (SNSP) show that during President Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration Tamaulipas has been the worst affected state followed by México state, Veracruz, Guerrero and Tabasco.
Mexico City had the eighth-highest rate, with 265 reported cases between December 2012 and February 2018. Ten kidnapping bands were disbanded in the capital last year and 52 people were arrested in connection with the crime, the PGJ said.
In the same period, six criminal groups dedicated to extortion were also broken up and 90 presumed criminals faced charges.
There were 490 reports of that crime last year, down from 608 cases in 2016.
Source: Milenio (sp)