Homicides: Who is to blame?

2017 has been one of Mexico's deadliest year, but what is the government doing to stop the wave of violence?

Protestors remember murdered journalists - Photo: Sashenka Gutiérrez/EFE

31/07/2018 09:06

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Newspaper Leader




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2017 has been the deadliest year in a quarter of a century, it registered 31,174 homicides, 27% more than in 2016 when there were 24,559 homicides. These numbers surpass those from 2011, the year with the highest homicide rate with 27,213 homicides.

These numbers portray a reality that hasn't been able to change in the last decade: violence is unstoppable in almost every corner of the country.

The same formula to fight crime has been used since the last administration: the use of military and federal forces. The actions never broke away from the government's script: in the face of a wave of violence, groups of soldiers were deployed to patrol the area and set up roadblocks; violence was then contained. At the moment violence sparked off in another area, they would move away or decrease the number of the military forces.

And although there was a transition from a PAN government to a PRI one, the tendency hasn't changed.

At the beginning of the current administration, the fight against crime became a priority; four months before it ends, the government has recognized it's a pending task. Aims like crime prevention and strengthening intelligence were set aside. In 2018 a prevention budget wasn't assigned, and schemes such as the Mexico Platform, which holds the criminal's biometric data, haven't been given resources.


The federal government isn't the only responsible organism. The Governors have stopped carrying out tasks like training their police forces. The vast majority of police forces lack the right equipment and their salaries are low, besides the lack of trust controls.

Meanwhile, the legislative branch didn't approve the certain proposals, such as the single command that planned to substitute weak municipal corporations for strong state groups, as some parliamentary groups rejected this proposal.

The criminal groups' power has grown to such extent that the political structures, especially in municipalities, are defenseless and those who don't follow their orders are murdered, which is reflected in the murders of mayors and candidates, as it was seen during the last election.

The homicide spiral is descending and it doesn't seem like it will stop in the immediate future. There are mistakes and omissions in many organisms, but nothing has damaged the fight against crime more than the lack of political will.


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