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States Manipulate Crime Statistics Ahead of Regional Elections, Report Shows

Elena Toledo - PanAm Post
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April 19, 2017

Poor classification and underreporting have proven to be obstacles for both authorities and citizens trying to get a hold on the reality of the situation and create public policies. (Fuerza Aguascalientes)

Manipulation of crime rates, especially homicide, in Mexico has become a major problem for officials trying to address the country’s violence problem, a new report shows.

Poor classification and underreporting have proven to be obstacles for both authorities trying to get a hold on the reality of the situation and create public policies.

A report, titled, “Every Victim Counts: Toward a Criminal Information System” and developed by México Evalúa revealed existing procedural gaps in the process, from the filing of a complaint through to the counting of statistics in the prosecutor’s office and National Public Security System.

Such shortcomings allow for a decrease in death statistics, which is sometimes done deliberately.

The analysis was conducted over the last 20 years of crime registration. As of January 2008 — one year after the start of the “war against drug trafficking” implemented by former President Felipe Calderón — a substantial and sustained increase in the rate of intentional homicides reached its peak in May 2011: 1.86 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants.

“Subsequently, from the end of 2012 to the beginning of 2015, there is a substantial decline, reaching a level of 1.05 homicides in February 2015. Finally, as of March 2015, there was a further increase in the number of homicides for every 100 thousand inhabitants, arriving at a rate of 1.59 homicides in August 2016,” the report said.

...The states of Nayarit, Mexico, Coahuila, Puebla, Quintana Roo, Tlaxcala, Tabasco, Veracruz and San Luis Potosi all demonstrated this pattern of behavior, the report found. Four of those states will have elections on June 4.

Read the rest at PanAm Post | Español

Related: Mexico's Recent Rise in Violence at Center of New Report (Insight Crime)

Related: What's Behind the Violence in Ecatepec, Mexico City's Sprawling Suburb? (Insight Crime)

Related: What Is Behind Spiking Violence in Tijuana, Mexico? (Insight Crime)

Related: With Murders on the Rise, 2017 on Track to Be One of Mexico's Deadliest Years (

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