Crime in Mexico is much higher than government reports

The incidence of crime in Mexico is higher than what is reflected in the data from the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System (SESNSP), as evidenced by the victimization surveys carried out by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI).

Through an analysis, Common Cause points out that the underreporting of high-impact crimes, such as femicides, kidnappings, and extortions, stands out. For example, in the first four months of 2022, there was a 23% increase in the number of extortion victims reported, compared to the same period in 2021.

There was also an increase of 16% in victims of trafficking, 9% in robberies with violence, and 3% in cases of drug dealing, compared to the first four months of 2021. In addition, kidnappings maintain an upward trend, of 6% in the first quarter of 2022.

According to the NGO, the underreporting of crimes could be due to aspects such as the lack of reporting by citizens, as well as possible manipulation of crime incidence figures by the authorities. For example, in 2020 it was estimated that the percentage of crimes that were not reported or did not initiate an investigation in the Prosecutor’s Office was 93.3% at the national level, according to INEGI figures.

At the same time, although the report does not deny that there is a decrease in the number of registered murder victims (which decreased by 12%); of femicide , (6%) and vehicle theft with violence, (7%), compared to the first four months of 2021, an increase in reports of family violence, extortion, kidnapping, drug dealing, and robbery can also be seen.

According to the information collected by Common Cause in the first quarter of 2022, 10,214 murder victims were registered. The states with the highest number of municipalities with homicide cases are: Guanajuato, Baja California, and Michoacán.

The NGO accuses that there is a serious problem with the underreporting of femicides, which continue to show an upward trend since this crime was classified. From January to April 2022, 319 victims were reported.

Regarding the crime of drug dealing, in the first four months of 2022, 29,664 cases of this crime were reported; which represented an increase of 3% in cases, compared to the same period in 2021.

In addition, in the same period, 19,065 cases of robbery from passers-by with violence were recorded, which means an increase of 9% compared to the same period of the previous year. In parallel, 272 kidnapping victims were registered, which implies an increase of 6%, compared to 2021.

A report prepared by the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime placed Mexico in fourth place among countries with the highest levels of organized crime.

According to the study, the nation governed by Andrés Manuel López Obrador ranks only below Congo, Colombia, and Myanmar, which have been identified as countries in conflict and with fragile governments. The list is prepared taking into account 193 nations.

Mexico, according to the document, has some of the most sophisticated criminal groups in the world. “Drug cartels control territory in much of Mexico, co-opting the state through bribery and intimidation, with the aim of facilitating their illicit activities.”

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