The Mexico City government has accused its predecessor of manipulating crime statistics “for political reasons.”
Attorney General Ernestina Godoy told a press conference yesterday that the aim of the former Mexico City government was to show an apparent reduction in the incidence of high-impact crimes such as intentional homicides, vehicle theft and aggravated robbery.
Godoy said the administration led by current Senator Miguel Ángel Mancera between 2012 and 2018 only recorded an average of 84.7 high-impact crimes per day while it was in office when an average daily total of 170 crimes of that type was reported to authorities.
She charged that the previous administration implemented a strategy to not record more than 620 high-impact crimes on a weekly basis, meaning that more than half of those reported were classified as less serious offenses and not investigated in the way they should have been.
“They deceived the citizens . . .” Godoy declared, adding that César Martínez Jasso, a former intelligence director and criminal policy and statistics chief in the Mexico City Attorney General’s office (PGJ), is under investigation for the alleged manipulation.
Other former officials may also come under investigation, Godoy said.
“For political reasons the registry of crimes was altered,” she said, explaining that the unit of the PGJ responsible for investigating crimes committed by public officials “will summon all those involved in the matter.”
Godoy also charged that there were “orders from above” to manipulate the crime figures.
Current authorities looked at a sample of 42,524 files and found that 29,082 – 68% – were incorrectly classified as low-impact crimes.
Among the manipulation detected, the attorney general said, was the classification of 82 intentional homicides as deaths caused by less culpable crimes or by natural or accidental causes.
More than a quarter of 14,349 reports of vehicle robbery were classified as a different, less serious crime while 1,314 high-impact crimes committed by minors weren’t represented in the official statistics the city government reported.
One strategy allegedly used by the former administration to justify the non-recording and reporting of a crime was to say it occurred in México state rather than Mexico City.
Godoy also said that more than 1,000 robberies of businesses were incorrectly recorded as low-impact crimes and that 18,723 reported thefts of mobile telephones could have been classified as high-impact crimes but were not.
Ex-mayor Mancera denied that his administration had manipulated the figures and declared he had full confidence in the two attorneys general who served during his term.