The crime incidence in Mexico has not diminished in general terms; in fact, in 2022 increased 4.67% with respect to 2021, a figure that rises to 7.53% if the comparison is made with 2018, considering the figures provided each month by the government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, although it is also true that four crimes have gone down, including intentional homicides and kidnapping.
Unfortunately, today the country is more violent and insecure, especially for women. In fact, this can already be described as the worst six-year term for Mexican women in terms of attacks against us, Despite the fact that last year femicides registered a decrease of -4.82% in contrast to 2021, although this serious crime increased 5.33% compared to 2018.
If we take into account that so far in the current administration, some 3,930 Mexican women have died from femicide, to which are added 11,231 who lost their lives due to intentional homicide, obviously it cannot be affirmed that the crime rate has decreased, since Added to this statistic are significant increases in the crimes of rape (9.03%), intentional injuries (7.93%), and trafficking in women (24.75%), among others.
It is reported at convenience
The problem with the statistics that are presented monthly in the president’s morning conferences is in the crime that is chosen to report under the concept of “criminal incident.” The president only shows the behavior of intentional homicides in general, which did decrease 12.28% in 2022, by adding 31,001 homicides against the 35,342 that occurred in 2021.
However, intentional homicide is only one of the components of the criminal incidence, since the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System, from which the president takes his figures, includes other crimes to calculate their occurrence in the country.
That is to say, Officially, this indicator gathers figures for more than 35 crimes which, when added together, show the number of acts contrary to the law that affect Mexicans, the result of all these additions is the criminal incidence.
Thus, always in accordance with the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System, last year reports were filed, and investigation folders were opened, for the commission of 2 million 141,876 common law crimes, while in 2021 there were 2 million 46,268, what gives us an increase in the criminal incidence of 4.67%.
If the figures for 2022 are compared with those of 2018, when the previous administration ended, the increase is 7.53%, since in the last year of the presidency of Enrique Pena Nieto 1 million 991,955 crimes were registered in the same number of investigation folders.
Now, up to here we are only talking about common law crimes that are reported in the prosecutor’s offices of the federal entities. If federal crimes are added to these, the outlook for public safety is not rosy at all: In both jurisdictions (common and federal) in 2022 the illicit amounted to 2 million 257,872, 4.48% more than in 2021.
However, it is important to clarify that federal crimes fell -37.30% in 2022, compared to those reported in 2018, but this decrease does not necessarily imply that fewer crimes of this type were committed, because for no one it is a secret that has been left to investigate in this matter, because the López Obrador government decided not to continue with the so-called war against drug trafficking of the past six-year terms.
Four crimes down
Comparing them with 2021, the crimes that did observe a decrease last year were -as already mentioned- intentional homicide (-12.28%); feminicide (-4.82%); kidnapping (-12.28%); and missing and missing persons (-3.07%).
This is progress taking into account the degradation of public security that has been experienced in the Lopez Obrador administration. However, as far as femicides are concerned, the drop is not necessarily due to a lower incidence of these, but rather to the fact that prosecutors decided not to classify intentional homicides of women as femicides, since the latter increased by 2.11%.
In fact, although in 2022 femicides decreased -4.82% in figures compared to 2021, this crime registered an increase of 5.33% compared to 2018.
In the same way, unfortunately, the positive statistics turn tragic in another illegal act that continues to be well above what it was before the start of the current six-year term. Although its incidence decreased in 2022, the disappearance of people registered an increase of 34.21% compared to 2018.
This is precisely one of the main mistakes of the federal government and of all the state authorities that, as a whole, have failed to prevent this crime, whose exponential growth in the first four years of this six-year term shows us the serious human rights crisis suffered by the country.
A country of crime victims
In 2022 theft had a marginal decrease of 0.05%, although if compared to 2018 the decrease is significant (-24.79%). Among the crimes against personal property, this is the only positive number, since fraud grew 9.17% (56.89% in contrast to 2018); and extortion increased 17.13% (53.85% compared to 2018).
In turn, drug dealing grew 5% last year (47.45% more than in 2018), while crimes against health (drug trafficking, federal jurisdiction) fell -15.70% (-7.98% compared to 2018). .
Here the absolute figures are important: While in 2018 there were 58,588 drug dealing crimes, in 2021 the number grew to 82,275, ending in 86,386 crimes of this type in 2022, which not only indicates that today in Mexico more drugs are sold in small quantitiesbut also the authorities have emphasized the fight against this type of illegal trade.
The same cannot be said with regard to crimes that impact the patrimony of Mexicans, since from 2019 to 2022 the theft of 614,557 vehicles was reported, a daily average of 421 stolen cars. Robbery at home adds up to 267,157 complaints in this same period, while 384,618 people became victims of robberies from passerby.
Globally, last year in Mexico 17.67 crimes were committed per 100,000 inhabitants. If we compare ourselves with our trading partners, the intentional homicide rate in Mexico is 23.85 per 100,000 inhabitants, while in Canada it is 2, and in the United States it is 6.5 homicides per 100,000 citizens. Only Belize (25.7), Colombia (22.6) and Brazil (22.5) have intentional homicide rates similar to those of our country.
surya palaces Journalist and lawyer, specialist in legal analysis and human rights. She has been a reporter, radio host and editor.