A new study of reported disappearances in the official statistics in Mexico shows that during the EPN administration (Dec 2012-present) there have been 13 disappearances each day–a total of 9,384 people in 22 months. This is more than double to rate of disappearances registered during the previous administration of Felipe Calderon. These are some of the findings from an examination of the databases of the National Register of Missing or Disappeared Persons from Jan 2007-Oct 2014 maintained by the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System. The database contains a total of 26,569 cases. The article below is an excerpt from the current issue of Proceso, 1997. It includes this link to numbers of disappearances per state. – Molly
Thanks to Jim Creechan for these links to updates on the killings and disappearances of the 43 students. -Molly
Reports in La Jornada and a report from CENCOS:
Academic Investigators have refuted the claim that the normalistas were incinerated at the Cocula garbage dump. They provided a detailed analysis of why this was physically impossible. Some independent (academic) investigators have suggested that the students might have been incinerated in army crematoria or in other private crematoria. The investigators have called for the army to allow inspectors onto the base to check. The army rejects both the “possibility” that this could have happened and “access to inspect”. In fact, a letter in today’s La Jornada from a general argues that the army does NOT HAVE incinerators capable of burning bodies. Sanjuana Martínez interviewed an academic at the centre of these claims (on Sunday) and he suggested that there had been threats made against those who opposed the “official version”. On Monday, an opinion column in La Jornada warned about the growing signs of “suppression” and threats against those who oppose the official version.
Both the Mexican press and the intellectual class of Mexico continue to be worried that the ultimate government response to the missing students and the public protests will be another DIRTY WAR. And I’m guessing that these fears are even greater today after the announcement the death of one of the iconic voices of free speech [ Julio Scherer Garcia (Proceso publisher)died early this morning–http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/julio-scherer-garcia-journalist-and-irritant-of-politicians-dies-at-88/2015/01/07/a50ebb82-96a0-11e4-8005-1924ede3e54a_story.html ].
Thanks to Jim for sending these links and analysis. – Molly
Comments from Jim:
Padre Alejandro Solalinde is proving to be a one-man wrecking crew undermining the Peña Nieto government attempt to push the Ayotzinapa massacre into the background.
He was the first one to report that the students had been executed and burned with diesel fuel (three weeks? before the Murillo Karam press conference).
And yesterday he addressed a group of students in Guadalajara and reported that the arrest of ex-Alcalde Abarca was a staged event for political reasons and an attempt to control the agenda.
> El gobierno “ha estado administrando esta información para aprovechar tiempos políticos. No es cierto que le interese la tragedia; lo que le interesa es sacar provecho electoral
> Se trata de un control de daños políticos, un control de daños partidistas. Han estado manipulando toda la información para beneficio del PRI-gobierno.–
According to Padre Solalinde, Abarca and his wife were captured in Vera Cruz. If you remember, I had previously sent out an email indicating that Abarca was arrested in Vera Cruz and I had based my information on an internet item that was briefly reported by ejecentral.com and at least one other daily. But those reports did not lead to any national coverage or follow-up of this report.
According to Padre Solalinde, the arrest of Abarca and his wife was staged in Itztapalapa in D.F. in hopes of gaining a political advantage. Basically, the argument is that the PRD was targeted by the PRI (…in spite of PRD cooperation in most for the Enrique Peña Nieto political agenda in the first 18 months). Itztapalapa is a PRD stronghold (based on demographics – it’s poor, and it has voted PRD consistently). Arresting Abarca in this “urban zone” would make it look like he had PRD help in hiding. He and his wife were supposedly hiding in a house owned by a family that has benefitted from PRD contracts (towing contracts). The circumstances of the arrest are strange – there was pre-arranged press-coverage, and Abarca emerged wearing a perfectly pressed suit from a hovel.
Unfortunately for the PRI, Padre Solalinde keeps bringing forward accusations that are backed up by evidence. And even more unfortunately, Enrique Peña Nieto has his own Marie Antoinette (La Gaviota) living in his own personal Versaille and doing much more than eating cake. -James (Jim) Creechan
Seminario Zeta of Tijuana recently published a piece comparing homicide statistics from the Calderon and Pena Nieto administrations and has appeared in several newspapers and magazines in Mexico including Proceso, http://www.proceso.com.mx/?p=380354
The original piece is posted below.
The gist of the article is that even though EPN and his government secretaries say that homicides have been reduced significantly (30% or more), the truth is much more murky and that compared to the first 20 months of Calderon’s term, there have actually been more homicides, not less.
The discussion has to do with the fact that official homicide statistics come from two main sources: the SESNSP and INEGI. [I posted a brief explanation of these two sources here, https://fronteralist.org/2014/08/22/q-a-with-frontera-lists-molly-molloy/ ] written before this new Zeta piece was published.
Zeta also uses media reports and civic organization counts in different states and cities and comes up with tallies that are somewhat higher than the recent INEGI report: http://www.inegi.org.mx/inegi/contenidos/espanol/prensa/Boletines/Boletin/Comunicados/Especiales/2014/julio/comunica3.pdf
The INEGI report itself is not a final report for 2013, but a preliminary one. More recent statistics are available only from the SESNSP and from media. There is also an issue of which homicides are counted? Homicidios dolosos are those usually considered murder or intentional/aggravated homicide. There is a whole other category of homicidios culposos, usually translated as accidental or negligent homicides. Zeta points out that as the numbers of homicidios DOLOSOS is slightly lower than in previous years, the number of CULPOSOS (accidental or negligent homicides) are going up. This makes us wonder if the government is “adjusting” its classifications of causes of deaths to make it appear that many of the killings are the kinds of “ordinary” accidental homicides that do not indicate an organized crime problem, but just people behaving badly.
One comes away thinking several things: 1) It is becoming even more difficult to know how many people are murdered in Mexico. 2)The EPN administration is determined to pursue an aggressive media strategy to make things appear less violent. 3) Presenting the homicide numbers for arbitrary periods like the “first 20 months” of different administrations is not that useful for comparison. 4)The levels of homicide, forced disappearances and kidnapping are still extremely high in Mexico.
Even using the more conservative figures reported by INEGI and the lower homicidios dolosos numbers reported by the SESNSP, “more than 153,000 people–an average of more than 1,600 per month–56 people PER DAY–have been murdered in Mexico since 2007.”
An English translation of the article published in El Diario de Coahuila is provided from Borderland Beat. Also posted below… -Molly Molloy
There have been some interesting disagreements (for lack of a better word) in the Mexican press recently concerning the numbers of disappeared people in the country… A nice summary in english by Pan American Post…
Some of the links in the Pan American Post:
23 April 2014
MORELIA, MEXICO –Three hitmen suspected of participating in a plot to destabilize the government by killing security and justice officials in the western Mexican state of Michoacan have been arrested, federal officials said.
The suspects, who were arrested on Monday, planned attacks on Michoacan Public Safety Secretariat and Attorney General’s Office personnel sent by President Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration to the state, the federal commissioner for security and development in Michoacan, Alfredo Castillo Cervantes, said.
To read more about these killings, click here.
With this comment from a person who sent me this story: ” As far as I remember, Mando Único was meant to have ended in late 2011…!!! Amazing that this is not taken as a sign that Duarte does not have control of his state.”
And in case you thought it was difficult before to get news and statistics on the violence in Mexico, now Mexico’s leaders will only give out information on murders in small “doses” that the public can handle… And President Pena Nieto asks the media to achieve an “equilibrium” between good news and bad news… If only Mr. Orwell were here to provide some good counsel… Thanks to Jose Luis for sending. His comments and the article follow: