Last month was the most violent January on record with 2,452 intentional homicide cases, official statistics show.
The figure is 13% higher than the 2,171 cases reported in the same month a year earlier, which was previously the worst January for homicides.
According to the National Public Security System (SNSP), the total number of homicide victims last month was 2,853 as two or more people were killed in some cases.
There were also 70 cases of femicide with 75 women killed, taking the total number of murder victims in January to 2928.
The figure equates to more than 94 murders a day or just under four an hour.
The number of homicide cases in January is also above that seen in December albeit by just eight cases.
Just over 70% of all homicides last month were perpetrated with firearms while 8% involved the use of knives or other bladed weapons.
The month-over-month increase in homicide cases for the first two months of the six-year administration of President López Obrador and the record January figures are especially concerning considering that 2018 was the most violent year on record with more than 33,000 murders.
Compared to January 2018, the number of intentional homicides last month increased in 16 of Mexico’s 31 states as well as in Mexico City.
Guanajuato recorded the highest number of homicides in January with 293 followed by México state with 262; Baja California with 261; Jalisco, with 232; and Chihuahua with 194.
In per capita terms, Colima and Baja California Sur were the most violent states with respective rates of 7.65 and 6.33 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants.
Kidnappings are also up, according to SNSP statistics, with 140 cases in January compared to 76 in the same month of 2018 – a 46% increase.
The number of kidnapping victims – 164 – is the highest ever recorded in the first month of a year.
Comparisons of January 2018 and January 2019 statistics also show that extortion cases surged by 60%, robberies increased by 5% and reports of retail drug dealing were up 16%.
The new crime data was released yesterday as public debate over the creation of a national guard intensifies.
López Obrador has made it clear that he wants the new security force to be created as soon as possible, arguing that it is needed to combat the high levels of violence in Mexico, but the National Human Rights Commission this week repeated its criticism of the national guard proposal, declaring that it “is not appropriate or viable.”