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Top: statistics for first six months of each year since 2012. Top: statistics for first six months of each year since 2012. Bottom: monthly crime figures for this year. Homicides in orange, kidnappings in red and extortion in gray.

June homicides down 10% from May but six-month figures up 15% over last year

January to June figures were the worst in at least two decades

Homicide figures for the first six months of 2018 were up 15% compared to the same period last year, making the January to June period the most violent of at least the past two decades.

There were 13,738 intentional homicides to the end of last month, according to the National Public Security System (SNSP), compared to 11,940 between January and June last year.

The figure equates to an average of 2,289 murders per month or just over 76 a day.

SNSP data shows that 68% of this year’s intentional homicides were committed with a firearm.

Although the six-month figure represents a historic high, the number of homicides decreased last month by 10% compared to May, which was the most violent month since the SNSP started recording comparable figures in 1997.

The total number of homicides in the two-month period was 4,828, which was slightly higher than the 4,704 recorded in May and June of last year.

Statistics also show that half of all the intentional homicides committed in the first six months of the year occurred in just six states.

With 1,294 murders in the period, Baja California heads the list of Mexico’s most violent states followed by Guanajuato with 1,203 and Guerrero, with 1,148.

The next three most violent states were Jalisco, Chihuahua and Veracruz.

Conversely, Yucatán recorded the lowest number of intentional homicides in the first half of the year with 19, while six other states — Durango, Hidalgo, Querétaro, Tlaxcala, Aguascalientes and Campeche — saw fewer than 100 murders each.

Baja California was also the most violent state in June, recording 219 homicides.

Eight out of 10 murders recorded in the northern border state in the first half of the year occurred in Tijuana, statistics show.

On average, almost six people died every day to the end of June in the border city, adding up to a total of 1,054 intentional homicides.

That figure is higher than the total number of intentional homicides recorded in both Jalisco, where there were 882 cases, and Chihuahua, which saw 862.

In per-capita terms, Colima remains Mexico’s most violent state, recording 40 intentional homicides per 100,000 inhabitants in the first six months of 2018.

Baja California and Chihuahua followed with per-capita rates of 35.6 and 22.5 respectively.

More than 200,000 people have been murdered in the 11 and a half years since former president Felipe Calderón initiated the so-called war on drugs by deploying the military to fight Mexico’s notorious drug cartels.

There were more than 29,000 homicides last year, which made 2017 the most violent year on record.

The federal government also deployed a record number of troops last year.

Among the measures proposed or currently being considered by president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador and his team to combat the spiraling levels of violent crime are implementing an amnesty law, legalizing drugs and providing better training, pay and conditions for the nation’s police.

The incoming administration also plans to gradually withdraw the military from public security duties on Mexico’s streets.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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