All the kidnappings reported to the Attorney General’s Office in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua have been solved, Gov. Cesar Duarte said.
Authorities in Chihuahua dismantled 60 gangs and arrested 257 kidnappers, extortionists and mass murderers in the past, the governor said during his first state of the state address on Saturday.
Chihuahua is considered Mexico’s most violent state, topping the national homicide list since 2008, and home to Ciudad Juarez, the country’s murder capital.
Ciudad Juarez, located across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas, has been the scene in the past few years of a turf war between the Sinaloa and Juarez drug cartels.
Authorities in Chihuahua also recovered more than 8,000 stolen vehicles, mainly in Chihuahua city, the state’s capital, and Juarez, the governor said.
The incidence of some crimes fell by up to 60 percent in the past year, Duarte said, citing Public Safety Secretariat figures.
The governor, however, did not provide details on which crimes fell by such high rates.
One of the achievements of the past year was the approval by the federal congressional justice committee of an initiative submitted by Chihuahua “to make kidnapping a federal crime and punish it with life prison terms,” Duarte, a member of the opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, said.
The Chihuahua Attorney General’s Office was overhauled and is now working with the legislative and judicial branches “to carry out 150 reforms of the Criminal and Criminal Procedure Codes,” the governor said.
More than 900 dangerous criminals were transferred to federal prisons in the past year under an agreement with the federal government, Duarte said.
The Justice Center for Women, the first facility of its kind in Mexico, was opened in Chihuahua city and a similar center will be opened in Ciudad Juarez, which has a long history of violence against women, the governor said.
The Crime Victims Assistance Fund was launched with 100 million pesos ($7.2 million) in funding and has helped more than 2,000 children to date, Duarte said.
A total of 4,427 people were murdered in Chihuahua, which is home to 3.4 million people, in 2010, the Office of the President says.