Surge in violence in Mexico’s drug war? Figures are inconclusive; 30 deaths in 2 days–Proceso

Several articles below on the recent upsurge in violence in Mexico. The LA Times reports on discrepancies in the numbers of homicides reported and not reported in recent weeks/months. A Reforma article from August 13 explicitly says that the government is “hiding the numbers.”  This is one of the first articles I have seen in either the Mexican or US or international press that questions the government’s criteria for separating so-called “drug-related” or “organized crime related” homicides from the general tally of killings. 

From the REFORMA piece ( I will try to post a complete translation later…):

“The lack of homicide investigations on the part of the state and federal authorities, the absence of coordination to determine which are linked to organized crime and which are pot, as well as a weak (feeble, flimsy) methodology, all are factors that obscure knowledge of the real number of homicides, say public security experts.”

“La falta de investigacion de los homicidios por parte de autoridades estatales y federales, la ausencia de coordinacion para determinar cuales estan vinculados al crimen organizado y cuales no, ademas de una metodologia endeble, son factores que impiden conocer la cifra real de ejecutados, opinan especialistas en seguridad publica. ”

This is exactly the same point I have made many times on the Frontera List and most recently in this Phoenix New Times article.

Finally it is clearly stated in a major Mexican newspaper and it is beginning to be hinted at in the US press. Also, the LA Times piece is the only reference I have seen in the US press to the release of homicide data from state attorneys general reported last week in El Diario that revealed an actual homicide count of more than 83,000–MINUS any figures at all from 4 states and only counting through December 2011…. For that study, see here.

I have read and heard from Mexicans living in exile in the US much speculation that there will be an increase in violence as Calderon’s term comes to an end. The Proceso article makes this explicit. The person who sent the article to me points out the echo of what happened in Juarez from 2008-2011–that is–when the Mexican army, federal police and other security forces are deployed, the violence increases dramatically. I think that we are seeing evidence of this now in reports from Nuevo Leon, Durango, Veracruz and Mexico City. molly molloy

Mexico’s drug deaths blamed on departing president’s security strategy

About virginiaisaad

Virginia is a journalist based in Los Angeles who's written for publications including Los Angeles magazine, Upworthy, and Elite Daily. She was born in Argentina and raised in the San Fernando Valley along with her three siblings. Fun fact: She took a Chicanas and Feminism course with Eva Longoria while studying for her master's in mass communication at California State University, Northridge. Follow her on Twitter @virginiaisaad

2 thoughts on “Surge in violence in Mexico’s drug war? Figures are inconclusive; 30 deaths in 2 days–Proceso

  1. Now SNPS says their attempts at tracking organized-crime related homicides was a “failed experiment” and they will no longer do it. “The government will continue to release statistics on “intentional” homicides (or “homicidios dolosos”), but will not divide the figures between those related to drug cartel wars, and those that are not.”

    http://www.insightcrime.org/insight-latest-news/item/3054-govt-to-release-data-on-crime-related-deaths-when-calderon-leaves-office

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