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A beach in Los Cabos. A beach in Los Cabos.

Violent cities study rejected in Los Cabos

Businesses say homicide data outdated and out of context as violent crime way down

A study by a Mexican non-governmental organization that ranked Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, as the most violent city in the world has been rejected by the resort town’s private sector.

The Citizens’ Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice said the homicide rate in Los Cabos — at 111.3 per 100,000 inhabitants — was higher than anywhere else on the planet in 2017.

But in a joint statement the Business Coordination Council (CCE), the Los Cabos Hotel Association and the Los Cabos Tourism Trust said the information the NGO disseminated is both out of date and was taken “out of context” and therefore is not an accurate representation of the city’s current security situation.

“. . . It speculates and manipulates [information], presenting untimely figures to portray the destination as an unsafe place,” the statement read. Violent crime has now been reduced by 90%, the groups charged.

Rodrigo Esponda, the general director of the tourism trust, told the newspaper El Universal that “a study that considers that Baltimore or New Orleans are more dangerous cities than Aleppo [Syria] or San Pedro Sula [Honduras] is definitely not serious.”

“In February 2017, there were 26 homicides and in February 2018, just two. The rate reduced by 93% and in March there haven’t been any [murders] so far. This is the current reality in Los Cabos, the result of a year of effort. That’s why the information is out of date and out of context and has strange intentions,” he said.

Esponda added that new military barracks funded by the local business community will help to further strengthen the fight against crime and highlighted that strong tourism numbers are expected in Los Cabos for the upcoming Spring Break.

Governor Carlos Mendoza also questioned the validity of the study.

“. . . No city in Syria appears, where there have been massive genocides. And so now it turns out that those cities are not unsafe?” he asked.

Mendoza added that the state government has recognized insecurity problems in Los Cabos and La Paz and implemented “the right strategy that achieved containment, although without declaring victory.”

However, a recent opinion piece written by a security analyst from InSight Crime said the approach the state has adopted by beefing up the presence of the military “has a dubious track record in stemming the tide of violence elsewhere.”  

In addition to Los Cabos, four other Mexican cities appear in the top 10 most violent cities in the world, according to the Citizens’ Council study. They are Acapulco (third), Tijuana (fifth) and La Paz (sixth).

The Tijuana Secretariat of Public Security also rejected its inclusion in the rankings, declaring that the study lacked rigor because it didn’t consider other high-impact crimes in its analysis and based its results purely on homicide statistics.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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