Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Homicides surge in Mexico City: worst four-month period in 20 years

Mexico City has recorded its most violent first four-month period of any year of the past two decades with 382 intentional homicides between January 1 and the end of April.

The figure is 14% higher than the 335 recorded in the same period last year and 24% higher than the murder rate registered in the first four months of 1998, when there were 309 homicides.

There have not been more than 300 murders in Mexico City in the January-April period of any other year in the past 20.

Based on National Public Security System (SNSP) statistics, the average daily homicide rate in the capital to April 30 was 3.1.

The SNSP data, which compiles statistics provided by the Mexico City Attorney General’s office (PGJ), shows that the number of murders has increased in the first four months of every year since 2015.

Compared to 2014 — when homicides fell to 241 in the first four-month period from 256 the previous year — the crime has increased by 58%.

In the past 20 years, the lowest number of homicides recorded in a first four-month period was in 2006, with 207.

According to Mexico City authorities, most of the murders committed this year were not linked to organized crime and are not indicative of an outbreak of violence on the streets of the capital.

PGJ statistics reveal that eight out of every 10 homicides were the result of personal fights or attacks in revenge, in which alcohol consumption and/or firearms were involved.

However, a report published today in the newspaper Milenio said that homicides have increased since authorities began security operations against criminal organizations dedicated to narcomenudeo, or retail drug dealing.

Milenio cited the Tláhuac Cartel in the southern borough of the same name, Los Rodolfos in Xochimilco and La Unión de Tepito and La Fuerza Anti-Unión in the central borough of Cuauhtémoc among the organizations authorities have targeted.

The marines, backed up by police, carried out an operation in July last year that resulted in the death of the boss of the Tláhuac Cartel, known by the alias “El Ojos.”

Narco-blockades made an unprecedented appearance in Mexico City following the death of the gang leader and seven of his sicarios, or hitmen.

Mexico City Mayor José Ramón Amieva admitted yesterday that criminal gangs with “links all over the country” use locations in the capital to store and sell drugs but rejected any suggestion that drugs are grown or processed the city.

A joint 2017 report by the city’s Public Security Secretariat and the PGJ identified 20,000 places where drugs were being bought and sold at the start of last year.

Another report by the National and Mexico City Citizens’ Observatories published last month showed that retail drug trafficking soared by 113% in the first quarter of 2018.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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