HomeNewsBriefIs Mexico Under-reporting its Homicide Count?
BRIEF

Is Mexico Under-reporting its Homicide Count?

HOMICIDES / 7 SEP 2016 BY SOFIA LIEMANN EN

An investigation by the newspaper Zeta has concluded that the administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto is significantly understating the number of homicides committed in the country.

Zeta reported that while the government has registered 63,816 homicides in the less than four years since Peña Nieto took office, the newspaper's own investigation, which compiled federal and state homicide figures from several official sources, put the total number of murders at 78,109.

"However, the figure could be higher," Zeta reported. "The uncertainty about the exact number comes mainly from the number of disappeared people, homicides that are intentionally classified as suicides in several states and the lack of authorities in some areas dominated by armed groups, where murders are committed without a response from police forces or justice operators."

More homicides were officially reported in July 2016 than during any other month of Peña Nieto's term. There were 2,073 homicides that month, according to the National Public Security System (sistema Nacional de Seguridad Pública - SNSP). July's homicides bring the 2016 total to 12,376, a 16 percent increase over the same period a year earlier.

The State of Mexico, the nation's most populous, registered 1,326 intentional homicides in the first seven months of 2016, followed by Guerrero, 1,267; Michoacan, 771; Chihuaha, 723; Jalisco, 698; Baja California, 654; Veracruz, 643; Guanajuato, 606; and Sinaloa, 605.

Zeta reports that the average number of homicides during the Peña Nieto administration is 1,800 a month and 21,600 per year, noting that if the trend continues his government will see 8,000 more homicides than the previous administration of President Felipe Calderon.

InSight Crime Analysis

This is not the first time the government's homicides figures have been questioned. In July, the president spoke about the important reduction in homicides that had taken place, but a few weeks later the Mexican organization Semaforo Delictivo showed the country was experiencing a clear increase in murders.

SEE ALSOMexico News and Profiles

Despite Peña Nieto's attempts to change the crime narrative in Mexico, the country continues to suffer high levels of organized crime-related violence. According to the non-governmental organization Institute for Economics and Peace, there were more conflict deaths in Mexico last year than in war-torn Iraq and Afghanistan.

The rise in violence has hurt Peña Nieto's popularity. A recent survey found the president's approval ratings stand at just 29 percent, the lowest figure since he took office in December 2012.

share icon icon icon

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

ARGENTINA / 6 MAR 2013

Latin American criminal organizations are relying on increasingly innovative ways to get the chemicals needed for drug production as a…

MEXICO / 20 APR 2012

Mexico’s Ministry of Finance says organized crime may have laundered up to $10 billion last year, much of it profits…

EL CHAPO / 26 JAN 2012

Mexico's authorities have gone on the offensive against the Sinaloa Cartel, capturing five alleged lieutenants in the last month and…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Collaborating on Citizen Security Initiatives

8 JUN 2021

Co-director Steven Dudley worked with Chemonics, a DC-based development firm, to analyze the organization’s citizen security programs in Mexico.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Deepens Its Connections with Universities

31 MAY 2021

A partnership with the University for Peace will complement InSight Crime’s research methodology and expertise on Costa Rica.

THE ORGANIZATION

With Support from USAID, InSight Crime Will Investigate Organized Crime in Haiti

31 MAY 2021

The project will seek to map out Haiti's principal criminal economies, profile the specific groups and actors, and detail their links to elements of the state.

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events - Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…