By Chris Covert
Despite the seemingly good news a few days ago of a dramatic drop in homicides from the Coahuila Procuraduria General de Justicia del Estado (PGJE), in the first two months of 2014, according to a group in Mexico the La Laguna region registered the fourth highest murders in Mexico nationwide in 2013, according to Mexican news accounts.
According to a news dispatch posted on the online edition of El Diario de Coahuila news daily, the group El Observatorio Nacional Ciudadano de Seguridad, Justicia y Legalidad (CCI) said that murder rates have dropped from 2012 to 2013, 35.9% in the Durango side and in La Laguna Metropolitan Area fell 42.4%.
Despite the drop in homicides, according to the group, murder rates have risen seven percent in 2013 in all of Coahuila state when compared with 2012.
Marco Zamarripa, director of the La Laguna Consejo Civico de las Instituciones (CCI-Laguna), was quoted in the report saying there is a large information gap in gaining crime statistics in the region. The CCI-Laguna says on their Facebook page they are a non-government organization.
Marco Zamarripa may have been referring to the Coahuila PGJE report last week, which has been no help as in the past that office has cooked statistics to make crime statistics appear more moderate.
La Laguna is a metropolitan area consisting of several municipalities from eastern Durango state and western Coahuila state. Police operations even with federal support have failed in the region because of jurisdictional problems between the two states and among the several municipalities which compose La Laguna. The three largest municipalities in the region include Torreon, Coahuila and Lerdo and Gomez Palacio, both of Durango.
Four individuals were killed in the La Laguna region since last Saturday according to Mexican news reports.
Three victims were found aboard a Ford Explorer midnight Saturday by local police in Lerdo municipality, according to a news report which appeared in El Siglo de Durango news daily.
The victims were two men and a female, one of the men of which was identified as Ricardo Marquez Rivera, 25. They were found in ejido El Huarache on Avenida San Carlos in Benito Juárez colony. The location where the dead were found was near the Coahuila-Durango border.
Meanwhile in Gomez Palacio, Durango a bus driver was shot and later died Sunday, according to a separate news account which appeared in El Siglo de Durango.
The victim was identified as Gregorio Lopez Mireles, 56, who was driving a bus between Gomez Palacio and Tlahualilo, near ejido Arturo Martinez Adame. An armed suspect shot the victim in an apparent robbery attempt.
According to data supplied by El Siglo de Durango, a total of 22 individuals have been murdered since the start of the year in the Durango side of La Laguna, including the three found in ejido El Huarache, but apparently not including the bus driver killed last Sunday.
In January, nine men died, while in February eight men and two women were reportedly killed in the region.
Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for Rantburg.com and Borderlandbeat.com he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org