Politicians in Baja California and Guerrero have rejected a study that found that Tijuana and Acapulco were the two most violent cities in the world outside war zones in 2018.
The Citizens’ Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice (CCSPJP), a non-governmental organization, published a study this week that ranked Tijuana as the most violent city in the world as a result of its homicide rate of just over 138 per 100,000 inhabitants. Acapulco ranked second with a rate of 110.5.
Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastélum acknowledged that there was a high number of homicides in the city last year but claimed that the study used incorrect data and has a clear “political connotation” because municipal and state elections will be held this year.
“It’s a fraudulent study with a political purpose, I can’t see it any other way. I don’t know who could be behind this, we have to review . . . this entity [the CCSPJP],” he said.
Tijuana Public Security Secretary Marco Antonio Sotomayor contended that the study included homicides in Rosarito even though the coastal city is in another municipality.
Both men pointed out that the number of homicides in Tijuana has fallen in 2019.
In response to the mayor’s claim, CCSPJP president José Antonio Ortega told the newspaper El Sol de Tijuana that the study has no political purpose other than to encourage authorities to implement policies that improve public security.
“We do this [study] with complete methodological rigor precisely so that authorities, the media and the population pay attention to the murderous violence . . . and establish different policies in order to get out of this horrific ranking of the 50 most violent cities in the world,” he said.
In Guerrero, Governor Héctor Astudillo rejected Acapulco’s second-place ranking.
“I reject it because the indicators we have from the National Public Security System tell us that we’re in fourth place [for homicides] per 100,000 inhabitants and sixth place for the [sheer] number of homicides,” he said.
The governor conceded that violence in the faded Pacific coast resort city is an ongoing problem that “requires attention” but charged that authorities are working every day to combat insecurity and that crime rates are already falling.
“I don’t accept that Acapulco is the second most violent city,” Astudillo reiterated.
Acapulco Mayor Adela Román Ocampo expressed a similar sentiment, charging that the CCSPJP didn’t take into account the “hard facts” that show that violence in the port city is going down.
“I categorically reject it [the ranking] because we went down to fourth and sixth place for intentional homicides . . .”