|Col. Lopez Gutierrez|
As the Mexican border state of Coahuila claims a sharp drop in homicides fir the first two months of 2014, another state, Tamaulipas is claiming a spike in denunciations for crime, according to Mexican news accounts.
According to a news compilation presented in the online edition of El Diario do Coahuila news daily, the Coahuila state Procuraduria General de Justicia del Estado (PGJE) or state attorney general announced that a double digit drop in homicides were reported in the state for the first two months of the year, when compared with the same period in 2013.
Overall, intentional homicides (homicidios dolosos) dropped to 78 as opposed to 140 from 2013, a total of 44 percent. Gang on gang murders have dropped by an even greater amount of 46 percent with 44 in 2014 and 81 in 2013.
In Saltillo, which is the state capital of Coahuila, gang on gang murders dropped by 86 percent, while intentional homicides dropped 63 percent, six so far in 2014 as opposed to 16 in 2013. No numbers were given on the number of gang on gang killings.
In Torreon, gang on gang killings dropped from 54 incidents in 2013 to 23 in 2014. A 49 percent drop in intentional homicides over have been recorded, with 69 deaths in 2013 as opposed to 35 in 2014.
While the drops in homicides are impressive it is important to note that the Coahuila PGJE has cooked criminal statistics before by reporting false statistics to the federal government then taking those results and reporting them as fact.
Even so, in Tamaulipas a senior Mexican Army command has reported an equally sharp spike in criminal incidents reported to their commands.
According to a news report which appeared in the online edition of Milenio news daily, Colonel of Infantry Jesus Gabriel Lopez Gutierrez was quoted saying that while in the first two months of 2013 daily calls reporting criminal activities to their communications node averaged thee to five calls per day, the number of calls have increased dramatically going from between eight to ten calls per day.
Col. Lopez Gutierrez is commander of the Mexican 15th Infantry Battalion which is responsible for security in southern Tamaulipas state, easily one of the most violent in Mexico.
According to the report, more calls came from the urban municipalities of Tampico, Madero and Altamira, and fewer from the rural areas of Altamira, Gonzalez and Aldama.
Most of the calls received are calls already made to other security groups, while about a third relate to federal crimes. The rest are either domestic reporting and reporting of traffic problems in southern Tamaulipas. According to the report, the calls can last from 10 seconds to four minutes, depending on the amount of information received.
The Colonel reported said that the spike in calls doesn't seem to correspond with an increase in crime. According to the report, the increase of calls reflect local citizens' demand for better security.
The Colonel also noted he was not aware of any timetable for the return of the army to the barracks, an early promise of the Enrique Pena Nieto administration from the 2012 campaign and last year. That promise had been continually reiterated in Mexican press until the spring of 2013, when even top army commanders publicly admitted they were not to return to the barracks anytime soon.
It is interesting to note that the Mexican Army has been in charge of security in southern Tamaulipas since May, 2011, which would coincide with the discovery of the San Fernando mass murders, which took the lives of 193.
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