Mexico Security Summary: June 2017

As noted in previous monthly reports, the overall security situation in Mexico continues to deteriorate. Although conditions appeared to have improved during the 2013-2015 time period, they took a serious turn for the worse during 2016. Public safety in many areas of the country has diminished as the major Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTOs) continue to fragment due to the arrest of key leaders of these organizations over the last few years. This fragmentation has led to a surge in violence and other criminality.

Mexico Security Summary: May 2017

A report released by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) suggested that the conflict in Mexico is the second deadliest in the world; after Syria. Its figures of 23,000 killed in Mexico during 2016 compares to 49,700 in Syria. While it is indeed true that Mexico has become more violent since the mid-2000s, it is important to note that somewhere between 50% and 60% of those 23,000 homicides in 2016 were the result of organized crime, but the remaining ones were common-law homicides. This fact was emphasized by Mexican authorities after the release of the IISS report, and they emphasized that both Brazil and Venezuela consistently have higher homicide rates, and that Brazil normally records more than 50,000 homicides each year; far exceeding the number in Mexico. In fact, Mexico typically ranks 25th with regard to homicide rate per capita. Mexico’s homicide rate is 16.4 per 100,000 residents, while Brazil is 25.2, Venezuela is 53.7, and Honduras is 90.4. In sum, while recognize that violence (and homicide in particular) is a serious problem in Mexico, this report compares apples to oranges and Mexican authorities were justified in their criticisms of it.

Mexico Security Summary: April 2017

Most indices suggest a continued deterioration in public safety across many areas of Mexico. The number of homicides continues to rise in more than half the states. Although official figures for April are not yet available, March recorded the highest number of homicides since July 2011. The official figure for March was 2020 homicides, up 11% over February. Also, the first quarter of 2017 recorded a 29% increase when compared to the same period in 2016. In fact, most months since March 2015 have shown an increase over the previous month. The violence continues to surge in Baja California and Baja California Sur. For example, April, March, February, and December 2016 each exceeded 110 homicides in Tijuana, the highest number recorded in that city since December 2008. The number of homicides in Veracruz has grown as well from 114 in December 2016 to 181 in March 2017. April also saw a dramatic increase in assassinations of government officials as well as other attacks on authorities. Assaults on public venues rose this month as did the number of bodies deposited in prominent sites across the country. Authorities also reported a surge in extortions over the last few months as well; especially in Veracruz.

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