Edmundo Garrido, former attorney general of Mexico City. Edmundo Garrido, former attorney general of Mexico City.

Mexico City corrects records after thousands of crimes went unreported

The city had already accused the previous administration of manipulating the numbers for political reasons

The Mexico City government has found that thousands of offenses committed in 2018 went unreported in official numbers.

The inclusion of the previously unreported crimes reveals that since the new government took office, the security situation in the capital has not deteriorated as much as was previously thought, and the incidence of some high-impact crimes has actually gone down.

Attorney General Ernestina Godoy accused the former Mexico City government in February of manipulating crime statistics “for political reasons.”

She claimed that the administration led by current Senator Miguel Ángel Mancera between 2012 and 2018 intended to show an apparent reduction in the incidence of crimes such as intentional homicides, kidnappings, vehicle theft and aggravated robbery.

The new government carried out a review of the 2018 data reported to the National Public Security System (SNSP) and requested that the records be corrected using the new statistics it supplied.

The SNSP said in a statement on Saturday that the “omissions and inconsistencies” detected by the Mexico City Attorney General’s Office (PGJ) in crime records for the period from January to December 2018 have now been “rectified.”

An analysis of the updated statistics by the newspaper El Financiero revealed that the SNSP made more than 14,000 modifications to data for the first half of last year.

The result is that the upward trends for crimes such as kidnapping, robbery and homicide during the first five months of this year have taken a sharp downward turn.

SNSP data had showed that kidnappings increased 209% between January and May compared to the same period last year.

However, with the addition of 107 abductions that were not reported, data now shows that the crime actually decreased by 54% during the first five months.

With regard to robbery, the government informed the SNSP about 13,826 crimes that its predecessor failed to report.

The new data shows that street robberies declined 10% and did not increase by 127% as reported.

Robberies on public transit rose 28% rather than 185% and vehicle theft increased 11%, not 45%.

Homicides were reported to have risen 39% for the five-month period to the end of May but with the addition of unreported murders, the increase fell 14 points to 25%.

El Financiero reported that the modifications to crime statistics didn’t have an impact on trends for crimes such as home robberies, domestic violence, looting and drug dealing, whose incidence has increased on Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum’s watch.

The city attorney general has filed a criminal complaint with the federal Attorney General’s Office against those responsible for the manipulation of crime statistics during the previous city government.

“. . . For some crimes, there was a simulation or manipulation of up to 75%,” Mexico City Security Secretary Jesús Orta told a press conference yesterday.

“[A complaint] was filed with the federal Attorney General’s Office because it’s a federal crime . . .”

City officials said today that they are investigating former attorney general Edmundo Garrido Osorio and 106 others in connection with the altered statistics.

Source: El Financiero (sp), Milenio (sp)

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