Saturday, June 15, 2024

Security ministry establishes new national homicide commission

The federal government has set up a new homicide commission, which aims to improve coordination between security agencies in an effort to tackle Mexico’s intractably high murder rate.

According to an agreement published in the national gazette on Thursday, the Commission for Attention to the Crime of Intentional Homicide (Conaho) will be made up of an interdisciplinary group of public servants from Mexico’s Security Ministry (SSPC). Its main purpose will be to create coordination mechanisms with regional and municipal law enforcement bodies to improve state responses to intentional homicide.

The agreement explains that the federal government considered it necessary to formally establish Conaho in light of Mexico’s persistently high homicide rate. Around 140,000 cases have been recorded during the presidency of President López Obrador alone, making this Mexico’s most violent presidential term in recent decades.

Although the homicide rate has declined slightly since its peak in 2019 — when 34,000 were recorded — it remains extremely high, with 28,000 cases in the first 11 months of 2022.

“Therefore, it is necessary to develop a strategy … to combat impunity in intentional homicide; generate intelligence that contributes to investigations and prosecution of cases; and establish an interdisciplinary and highly specialized body that concentrates efforts on the investigation of intentional homicides,” the agreement states.

Conaho will be made up of six administrative units, focused on crime prevention; regional peace-building strategies; legal affairs and transparency; strategic analysis; inter-institutional coordination; and technological coordination.

Its specific objectives include building an integrated information system on intentional homicide, coordinating between government authorities and civil society, and proposing mechanisms for the exchange of best practices between federal, state, and municipal authorities.

The commission will also participate in working groups that will meet regularly to discuss progress and make recommendations.

The commission, which was first officially proposed in August, is intended to be a forerunner of a future National Anti-homicide Coordination. According to the agreement published in the national gazette, it came into force this Friday and will remain in place until the National Anti-homicide Coordination is established.

With reports from El Universal and El Sol de México

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