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Security officials predict 50% decline in murders and other crimes by 2024

Ministry acknowledges 'acute crisis' in public security

The federal Security Ministry (SSPC) has acknowledged that Mexico is going through an “acute crisis” in public security but made a commitment to reducing homicides and some other crimes by 50% by 2024, the last year of the government’s six-year term.

In a document published Thursday in the government’s official gazette, the SSPC predicted that homicides, kidnappings, vehicle theft, burglaries, muggings and robberies on public transit will decline by half in the next four years.

The ministry also predicted that sex crimes, gender violence and human trafficking will decline but didn’t specify the reductions it is targeting.

It outlined a range of actions that will be undertaken to reduce crime and achieve its targets.

Among them: consolidating the deployment of the National Guard across the country, cracking down on the illegal entry and circulation of firearms, strengthening the government’s capacity to investigate money laundering, forming new intelligence groups in conjunction with citizens, attending to the root causes of violence, strengthening the justice system, cooperating with the governments of other countries, combating corruption, and improving decision-making through the use of crime data.

Reducing homicides by 50% will entail shaving off some 17,000 murders from Mexico’s annual statistics – last year was the most violent on record, with more than 34,000 homicide victims.

On the second anniversary of his 2018 election, President López Obrador claimed Wednesday that his government has succeeded in halting a long-established trend of growth in homicide numbers.

However, homicide statistics for the first five months of 2020 show that murders are in fact up 3.4% compared to the same period of 2019.

In its diagnosis of the security situation, the SSPC conceded that Mexico is a country plagued by violence, insecurity and impunity. It also acknowledged the power and influence of Mexico’s notorious drug cartels, which control large swathes of territory almost as personal fiefdoms.

In addition, the Security Ministry recognized that corruption has an impact on public security and that crimes involving the violation of people’s human rights continue to be committed.

The security situation has a serious adverse impact on the wellbeing of the Mexican people, causes the social fabric to deteriorate and is a barrier to social and economic development, the SSPC said.

However, the government’s security strategy, which includes using the armed forces to fight crime until at least March 2024, is “multidimensional” and is specifically aimed at addressing the root causes of the “acute crisis,” the ministry said.

“The severity of the security conditions in Mexico has forced a reorientation of [security] actions for the benefit of the country’s population,” the SSPC said.

The publication of the security document comes just days after President López Obrador said that his administration would continue with its non-confrontational security strategy and not declare a war on cartels despite a brazen attack on Mexico City’s police chief that killed two members of his security detail and a bystander.

Source: Reforma (sp) 

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