Murders in Mexico up 27 percent last year
July 31, 2018 -- The number of homicides in Mexico in 2017 was higher than originally thought, with 31,174 slayings – up 27 percent from 24,559 in 2016.
The latest data for 2017 comes from INEGI, the national statistics institute, whereas the previous figure of 29,168 homicides came from the Interior Ministry. The Interior Ministry counts homicide investigations that could involve multiple victims, thus potentially under-representing killings, whereas INEGI visits morgues and public registries to collect information. INEGI surveyed 2,127 civil registries, 688 public ministries and 145 forensic medical services to collect the 2017 data.
At 31,174, the number of homicides now reported is the highest since records began in 1997, including 2011, the worst year of the war on drugs.
The rate for 2017 reported by INEGI -- 25 per 100,000 inhabitants -- is near the levels of Brazil and Colombia at 27 per 100,000.
Alejandro Schtulmann, president of Mexico City-based political risk firm EMPRA, says that in addition to fights between criminal groups for territory, fuel theft from pipelines has turned more violent and extortion cases are on the rise.
Schtulmann warns the country urgently needs to improve state security forces since thinly stretched federal resources often can’t reach all the trouble spots.