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January homicides up, but crime rates down.

Mexico’s homicide numbers increased slightly in January, but overall crime rates remain on a downward trend, according to the Security Ministry’s monthly analysis.

Murders rose from 2,529 in December to 2,582 in January, Security Minister Rosa Icela Rodrígez announced at President López Obrador’s Tuesday morning press conference — an increase of 2%.

However, she emphasized that this slight uptick follows a period of gradual improvement, meaning there were still 16% fewer homicide victims in January than during Mexico’s peak of violence in 2018.

“The trend remains downward,” she said. “Homicides presented a significant decrease with respect to previous years.”

Murders decreased by 7% in 2022, making last year the least violent of AMLO’s administration. However, homicide rates have remained historically high since AMLO took office, with a steady level of over 30,000 each year since 2018.

Icela Rodríguez explained that 46% of homicides in Mexico are concentrated in six states: México state, Guanajuato, Baja California, Chihuahua, Jalisco and Guerrero.

However, Icela Rodríguez said an improvement had been seen in all but 11 of 50 highly violent “priority municipalities.” Homicide rates in these municipalities were 10.8% lower on average over the last year than in the previous 12 months, the security minister said.

She acknowledged that extortion is up 13.5% this year compared to the same period in 2022, but emphasized improvements in other crimes such as kidnapping and vehicle theft.

She said that 44 kidnappings were registered in January, representing a 76.2% decrease from the 185 recorded in January 2019. During this period, she said that authorities had arrested nearly 5,000 kidnappers, dismantled 557 gangs and rescued 2,208 victims.

Other positive results included a 38% drop in vehicle theft and a 28.7% drop in femicides from December 2018.

“The strategy is working, because we are generating a reduction in the crime rate,” she said.

Source: mexico news daily