Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Saturday, October 26, 2013

15,000 murders in Mexico since December 2012

By Chris Covert

The latest data on murders in Mexico are in and whatever the administration of Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto is doing to deal with its pervasive organized crime problem, the results are mixed.

According to data supplied the the Secretaria de Gobernacion (SEGOB), or interior ministry, the total of murders nationwide reached more 15,000 since December 2012, the first full month of the new administration.  Intentional homicides totaled 1,478 for the month of September, 2013. The total number of murders since December, 2012 was 15,352.  The average for the previous ten months is more than 1,535.  The average for the previous nine months of 2013 is 1,487.

At the current average rate, the total of intentional homicides in Mexico could reach more than 17,000, which would be the lowest number for homicides since 2009, when 16,118 murders took place.

In 2010 through 2012, including the month of December 2012, homicides  were at an all time high of 20,681, 22,856 and 21,768, respectively

President Peña came into office ten months ago with promises of dealing more effectively with organized crime, first by moving all federal law enforcement and military counternarcotics activities under the auspices of its interior ministry.  Since that time every crime, especially violent crime reported through the federal government became a statistic, with no or few details.

Despite Mexico's transparency requirements at the federal level, Peña administration officials have interpreted the transparency requirements to reporting only the statistics of crime, not the details.

Since the start, it has been clear that some Mexican news outlets, most of which rely heavily on the federal and state governments for their crime news, were willing to self-censor crime news.

Some government officials, for example last July in Coahuila, have deliberately distorted crime statistics, only to be called on it by private organizations.

Whatever other efforts have been made to spike crime news in Mexico, the statistics that have been compiled by SEGOB are grim.

According to data supplied by Animal Politico news website,  kidnappings and extortion attempts have soared in Mexico to all time highs.  In September a total of 135 kidnappings were reported, a number exceeded twice since December 2012 -- in March (141) and April, 2013 (136) -- and matched in two other months, June and July.

Going by an annualized rate, the rate of kidnappings will exceed 1,606, an increase of about 10 percent from the previous year and an all time record.

Similarly, the crime of extortion going by its average current rate could reach almost 8,000 by the end of the November, 2013, another all time record.  The year 2013 totals could exceed the last highest year, 2012 (7,272), by more than 700 cases.

As with homicides, two other crime categories have been reduced, albeit showing downward trends which began in 2011, in carjackings and auto theft.

In the previous three years, carjackings hit an all time high averaging more than 65,000 with 2011 being the high mark at 71,784.  So far in 2013, total carjackings are down 41,916 for the calendar year. At the current annualized rate total carjackings could reach 55,887, the lowest number since 2009 when 42,673 were reported.

Auto theft is also showing a dramatic drop with a projected number of 132,941 for 2013, the lowest number since 2006, before the start of the previous Calderon administration.

Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for and  He can be reached at


  1. Good info Chris.... I am wondering, does SEGOB present any sort of a breakdown by state or region. It doesn't help a lot if you don't know where the crimes are occurring. Thx.

  2. And its just gona get worse ladys and gentlemen...

  3. I guess we well not be going grandmas for Christmas again this year, maybe in 2017

  4. New homicide stats are in - this article is saying don't rely on any government homicide statistics cause they can't count. Most newspapers are censored on this topic and aren't reporting organized crime killings anymore but still it is probably better than it was in 2009. Is that right? That is essentially the gist? I'm better off knowing that!

  5. message to Chivis - are you still reading this? we're praying for you. please take plenty of time to rest - before and after your operation. don't rush back to work after its over. you have been a bright and shining star in the struggle against corruption and repression in your country. May God pour His belssings on you!

  6. Hola...when I moderate I see and read each message. Thank you for your kind words. I am taking it easy, but feel so darn good and strong already after only 3 days on steroids. :) Paz

    Malo...Zeta Mag has been calculating narco deaths themselves and they had the number at around this number through July.

    Why o why are foreign journalists still saying the numbers are low when even EPN gov doesn't claim that? I saw a well known narco war author tweet as much, only last month, I was stunned and told him so, he regressed a little saying they were gov figures and not necessarily so, and he admitted to seeing the Zeta figures. BUT did not include them in his tweet to thousands of followers....chivis

  7. if they say 15k its probably 35k.

  8. No question that the federal government and some state governments are cooking the books and the numbers we are getting from them are suspect. But even if the Zeta mag data says 15,000 through July, the annualized rate would still be lower than in 2012 and 2011.

    I was going to add a comment by Durango journalist Ruben Cardenas that the murder rate now is worse than during Calderon's term, but the numbers don't bear them out.

    What I have read -- and wrote -- is that some crimes are in decline and some have skyrocketed. EPN's efforts in dealing with Mexican organized crime are a wash so far.

  9. Calderon had like 100 000 deaths in 6 years,epn will have about 120 000? or probably more...

  10. It daes not surprise me at all actually i think there are a lot more than that

  11. Sounds nice and safe now. Meh.

    No thanks. I'd sooner take the family to Baghdad.


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