Although Monterrey, Nuevo Leon is suffering through it's worse security crisis in history, a report made public yesterday by the citizen awareness organizaion, Nuevo Leon Seguro, states crime rates in neighboring Texas cities are the same, if not worse.
The organization's founder, Roel Santiago, said homicide and auto theft statistics in San Antonio and Houston, two cities which have become popular alternatives for emigrating regios seeking secure environments, are alarming to say the least and should be reviewed before choosing to abandon Monterrey.
The study is based on reported incidents of homicide, auto theft, rape, and assault in rates per 100,000 habitants in the following five cities: San Antonio, Houston, Monterrey, San Pedro, and San Nicolas.
According to the report, homicide rates for Houston(13.1) and San Antonio (8.6)are higher than Monterrey, which stood at seven crimes per 100,000 inhabitants in the first quarter of 2010.
Additionally, the comparison showed that the capital of Nuevo Leon has a rate of 601 auto thefts versus 680 vehicles stolen in San Antonio and 592 in Houston.
During the months of January to March this year, the period which was studied, one thousand 737 thousand vehicles were stolen in Monterrey, surpassing the reports received for this crime in San Antonio (1285) and Houston (1207), but when considering the population factor, the rate is reduced.
Roel Santiago, who specializes in government quality control, explained that these statistics indicate that Texas cities are as violent and insecure as Monterrey, information one should consider carefully before making the decision to move to the United States.
"It's not the whole complete picture because we are not contemplating the issues that are currently hitting us hard such as kidnapping, extortion and police corruption within the police.
However, this study and these statistics show American cities are also violent. It shows they are not exempt of homicides and auto thefts, and that they, too, are faltering in this so called war on drugs. They accuse us of such crudeness and violence, all I can say to the American government is, well, mirror, mirror. Take a look,said the founder who also created the Crime Traffic Light
Ironically, this crime report was made public on the very same day the federal government announced 30 percent of the municipalities benefiting from federal resources to combat crime are not providing crime statistics to the national database.
The terms for recieving federal security funds allotted by the Municipalities and Public Safety Delegations (Subsemun) grant dictate each municipality must submit reports, which summarize each event constituting a crime and / or administrative offense with photos, map plotting, georeferencing, description of facts and any other documentation, for the consultation and analysis of National Public Security System (SNSP) authorized personnel.
According to a SNSP document, updated July 15, the Nuevo Leon municipalities of Monterrey, San Pedro, San Nicolas, Guadalupe and Escobedo are not in compliance with these terms.
The mayors of Escobedo and Guadalupe claimed to have lost the passwords to enter the system. Monterrey and San Nicolas blamed their omissions on system failure, somehow it just wasn't capturing all the data entries they had sent. San Pedro, on the other hand, announced as of August, they are up to date on all reports.
While municipal records have not been kept tidy, El Norte keeps a running count of drug war related homicides. According to their report, which was last updated Aug. 30, 2010, there has been a total of 433 reported homicides: 351 criminals, 51 police officers, 6 soldiers, and 25 civilians. Again, these are only drug war related homicides and, of course, also exclude unreported events and any number of bodies undiscovered in narco-fosas.
While I most definitely agree, the U.S. is not exempt to violent crime, attempting to validate Monterrey's non-existent security by publicizing butchered facts goes far and beyond the absurdity of 'comparando peras con manzanas'.
Even the simple comparison of homicide and auto theft statistics, on it's own, is ludicrous. Correct me if I'm wrong, but there's a hell of alot of difference between having your vehicle stolen from your local Walmart parking lot in Texas and having a 17 year old, AK-47 wielding cholo rip you and your family from your moving vehicle during a downtown Monterrey narco-bloqueo.
There's also quite a difference between being killed in a Houston robbery attempt and being extorted, kidnapped by local police, tortured and executed by narco thugs.
These are the reasons Regios are abandoning the city they love, not murder and car theft.
In the end, I'm not sure which shocked me most: the study itself, or the fact it was created and displayed by a non-governmental organization which claims to be auditing government agencies in the name of security.
If this study and a crime traffic light are the only examples of what this citizen watchdog group has to offer the people of Nuevo Leon, I'd say it's time to put the dog down and get a new one.