Official figures indicate an improvement in the security situation in Mexico, as homicides, kidnappings and other crime is down.
President Enrique Peña Nieto reported a 24% drop in kidnappings and 27% decrease in homicides compared with 2012 while speaking yesterday at an event for first-year cadets at Mexico’s Naval College.
There were 3,853 homicides in the first three months of this year compared with the same period in 2012, the last year of Felipe Calderón’s presidency. Peña Nieto said kidnappings totaled 288 while cases of extortion fell 22% to 1,284 occurrences. According to the president, less serious crimes were down as well, by 13.5% to 386,509 criminal acts.
Peña Nieto observed that even though there are still regions where people are threatened by organized crime, Mexico is working toward creating better living conditions. The president pointed out that the Mexican government has detained or taken down 93 out of the 122 most dangerous criminals in the country.
Data from the National Public Security System (SNSP) backs up the president’s figures. An investigation into just a few years earlier, however, reveals a surprisingly quick turn of events.
Homicides in the first trimester of 2009 were slightly lower than this year, at 3,643. They quickly increased thereafter, to 4,652 in 2010 and a high of 5,441 in 2011. Guerrero, Chihuahua and Sinaloa led the way in numbers.
A civil organization whose objective is to combat kidnapping agrees that those figures are down, but not as much as the official statistics claim.
Miranda de Wallace, president of Stop the Kidnappings, says abductions in March were down 6.5% from February with 154 reported kidnapping victims. At a news conference, de Wallace said that even though the numbers are going down, there is still much room for improvement.
She highlighted the fact that “the Attorney General is still lacking a state-mandated anti-kidnapping unit.”
The greatest number of kidnappings took place in the State of México State, at 38. It is one of the most violent states and organized crime is on the rise. Stop the Kidnappings’ figures show that the most dangerous cities in terms of kidnapping are Ecatepec with 166 cases, Nezahualcóyotl with 119, Chalco 82, Cuautitlán 66, Chimalhuacán 64 and Talalnepantla 49.
The president’s speech at Mexico’s Naval College focused on the Armed Forces’ essential role in keeping the peace, maintaining public safety and ensuring social progress.
After presenting ceremonial swords to naval cadets, Nieto asked them to never “lower their guard,” and strengthen the gains his administration has made by ensuring continued cooperation between the government and society.