Homicidal violence in Mexico does not give ground. For the fourth consecutive year, more than 30,000 men, women and children were killed in the country, despite the record mobilization of military personnel in the streets and the deployment of more than 100,000 elements of the National Guard ordered by the government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
The official data on criminal incidence released by the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System (SESNSP) show that, until the end of last November, there were already 31,615 people killed in 2021. It is an average of almost 95 homicides and femicides committed daily.
To put it in proportion, although December has not yet ended, the murders registered in 2021 already exceed the 29,636 that were registered in the 12 months of 2017.
It was in 2018 when the spiral of violence broke, for the first time, the ceiling of 30,000 murders in a year and since then it has remained. Between January and November of that year there were 31,662 victims: for the same period of 2019 there were 32,685; in 2020 they totaled 32 thousand 815, and this year the already mentioned 31 thousand 615. Compared to last year, the murders recorded this year represent a decrease of just 3%.
This confirms the phenomenon that security experts have insisted on: while the firing of homicides slowed since the end of 2018, violence has not decreased either.
Of the 31,615 homicide victims counted from January to November of this year, 30,603 correspond to cases of intentional homicide and 922 are cases classified by state prosecutors as femicides, that is, murders of women because of gender.
The specific number of femicides is the highest on record. However, organizations and experts in the field such as Estefanía Vela, have warned that this increase may be due to the fact that prosecutors’ offices are recognizing a greater number of cases as possible femicides and not necessarily to an increase.
In fact, official data also show that in the first 11 months of 2021 the number of women murdered in Mexico reached 3,462, a marginal reduction compared to the 3,473 murdered in 2020. However, this total does exceed what was registered in 2018. That is, 2021 is shaping up to be the second or third deadliest year for women in Mexico.
According to SESNSP figures, among the victims of homicides and femicides in 2021 there are 1,091 confirmed minors. This also means that for the fourth consecutive year the number of minors killed in a year will be more than a thousand.
It should be noted that, of all the murders recorded in 2021, there are 21,465 that were committed using firearms, 67.8% of the total. In other words, almost 7 out of 10 homicides committed intentionally in Mexico are perpetrated with a pistol, rifle or similar firearm.
Violence on the rise in 14 states
Although the national total of people killed in the country remained almost at the same levels, there are 14 states that did register an increase in victims of homicides and femicides in 2021.
The red light this time is Zacatecas. In this entity, the growth of murders exceeded 61% only from one year to the next, going from 945 victims from January to November 2020 to 1,521 in the same period of this year. On November 24, the federal government announced the strengthening of the security strategy deployed in the state in an attempt to contain the growth of violence.
After Zacatecas there are four states that register increases in their homicides of more than 20% from 2020 to 2021: Campeche with 26%; Nayarit with 25%; Morelos with 24% and Sonora with 23.8%.
The list continues with Chiapas, Nuevo León and Michoacán, with increases of 11 to 12% in their balances of people killed. The rest of the states that present increases in their homicides are Tlaxcala, Aguascalientes, Baja California, San Luis Potosí, Querétaro and Quintana Roo.
At the other end of the list are the states where homicides and femicides were reduced in 2021, and of all Coahuila stands out where the official record marks a decrease of 26%. Then tabasco, Guanajuato and Sinaloa are located with decreases of 21%.
Mexico City is the fifth state with the highest drop in homicides from January to November 2021, accumulating 989 in total, representing a reduction of 20.5% compared to the 1,244 registered in the same period of 2021.
Robberies, rapes, extortion…
Beyond the issue of murders, what official data show is that after demobilization por the COVID-19 pandemic that began in 2020 and caused the decrease of several crimes, in 2021 there is again a general uptick in criminal incidence, at least as far as complaints are concerned.
The official statistics show that from January to November, 1 million 871 thousand 808 crimes of the common jurisdiction of all kinds were reported to the country’s prosecutor’s offices, which are 184 thousand 148 crimes above what had been registered in the same period of 2020. This rebound shows, in turn, that the drop in incidence was closely related to the lockdown.
Theft, in all its forms, is the most reported crime in general. This year the record was 557 thousand 78 cases, which is almost one thousand 500 cases more than what was registered in the same period of 2020. In particular, robberies to passers-by with and without violence registered a significant takeoff, going from 57,698 cases last year to 61,490 in 2021.
But there are other, even more serious upswings. For example, the country’s prosecutor’s offices reported 233,978 complaints of family violence in 2021, which is 31,333 more cases just from one year to the next. In fact, the incidence of the crime of family violence in 2020 is the highest on record so far this century.
Another red light in the country is sex crimes. For example, rape complaints registered an increase of close to 30%, advancing from 15,238 in eleven months of 2020 to 19,484 in the same period this year. To these are added the complaints of abuse, harassment and sexual harassment that reached 33,975 so far in 2021, an increase of 23.5%.
This means that, this year, at least 160 new cases of rape or sexual assault are reported every 24 hours. The current incidence of sexual offences is significantly higher even than in the years prior to the lockdown and the health pandemic.
In 2021 the number of victims of human trafficking reached 697, an increase of 11.8% compared to 623 last year. It is the largest number of trafficking victims in the last four years.
On the other hand, the extortions reported from January to November 2021 reached 8,603, which is also the highest amount since at least 2018. The increase is 11.2% compared to 2020.
Another crime that also registers a significant increase in its incidence is that of drug dealing. According to the data of the prosecutor’s offices provided to the SESNSP, just over 76,000 investigation folders have been initiated this year for this fact classified as a crime. If this is compared to, for example, the 53,978 cases in 2018, the rebound is more than 40%.
What we do at Animal Político requires professional journalists, teamwork, dialogue with readers and something very important: independence. You can help us keep going. Be part of the team.
Subscribe to Animal Político, receive benefits and support free journalism.#YoSoyAnimal