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

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Baja CA 2019: 245 Murders per Month, State Retains 2nd Place in Mexico

Yaqui for Borderland Beat from: Zeta

"The world homicide rate is 6 violent deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, but in Baja California currently they kill 85 people per 100,000 citizens," said Santiago Roel, founder of the Traffic Light.

New Security measures failed Baja California in its first year of implementation. The presence of the National Guard did not contribute to increasing the number of arrests of criminals and the 6,000, 048 million pesos delivered in social programs did not impact security either. 2018 being the record year in violent homicides, 2019 presented a marginal reduction of just 7% in a federative entity where 85 people continue to be riddled for every 100,000 inhabitants.

The first year of the administration of the President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, will be remembered as the one with the highest rate of malicious homicides, feminicides, business robberies and/or extortion,  human trafficking and drug trafficking, with failures in a security issue in which it prevails with  budget cuts in every sector except for the Armed Forces, says Francisco Rivas Rodríguez, director of the National Citizen Observatory Security, Justice and Legality.

“The homicide numbers continue to grow, they talk about a turning point, we run econometric models and what we found is that there was a turning point towards the end of the last six-year period, which was what made the homicide start to grow less. It was not in this six-year term, they are chanting something of Enrique Peña Nieto and they are also giving the false fact that the violence is already contained, when it is not, ” emphasized the head of the agency.

This first year was not successful on the issue of security, were that the strategy implemented was not supported, in addition, budget cuts and institutional dismantling were not favorable. On this last point, Rivas said that it is not only a dismantling  the disappearance of the Federal Police, but in reference to the low presence and results of the Attorney General's Office (FGR).

Likewise, it defined as “a brutality” the decrease that the Federation applied to states and municipalities, mainly in resources such as the Contribution Fund for the Strengthening of Municipalities (Fortaseg) to 33 %, especially now that the federative entities will have a extra cost with the federal presence, since the Law establishes how much each one must pay to the National Guard.
In Baja California, during the first year of the López Obrador administration, 245 people were murdered per month. Throughout the management of its predecessor, Enrique Peña Nieto, the monthly average was 127 homicides. While with Felipe Calderón Hinojosa the deadly monthly average was 59 victims.

The 3,160 violent deaths recorded in BC during 2018 were reflected as the record number in the official count that has been carried out in the entity for 14 years: 836 murders more than in 2017. Reducing it was the challenge that the AMLO Presidency received.

To combat insecurity and homicidal violence, the first week of February, the morenista government sent 200 elements of the National Guard to Baja California that concentrated on Tijuana.

Subsequently, on November 1, another 200 federal agents commissioned to the State Security and Intelligence Guard (GESI) arrived. And according to what was announced by the only federal delegate Alejando Ruiz Uribe, 504,000,000 pesos were delivered monthly in social programs in Baja California.

As a result, homicides during 2019 have registered a marginal reduction of just 7.6% when compared to last year, from 2, 890 to 2,668 dead (statistics from January 1 to November 30).

"The world homicide rate is 6 violent deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, but in Baja California currently they kill 85 people per 100,000 citizens," said Santiago Roel, founder of the Traffic Light.

“They are still too many dead, in addition, the same number represents an increase of 30% compared to the historical average of the last three years. Therefore, it is the second entity with the highest homicidal incidence in Mexico, just below Colima, ” said the analyst.

For his part, the president of the State Council of Public Security of Baja California (CCSP), Juan Manuel Hernández Niebla, considered that speaking of a marginal downward trend, " is merely consequential."

He added: "There really has not been a strategy related to the issue of homicides by the Federation,
and generating 150 or 180 deaths per month is an extremely high incidence, compared to any standard."

Additionally, during this year the wrongful killings in Baja California increased by 20%, from 317 in the first ten months of 2018, to 399 in the same period of 2019.

“Suddenly you increase the guilty homicides, which tend to be very consistent, it does not look natural, it is not explained, because accidents rarely increase or decrease dramatically. This causes suspicion of the existence of a sub-registry, ” said Francisco Rivas, of the National Citizen Observatory for Justice and Legal Security.
HIGH Incidence in 3 Municipalities:
To analyze the movement of the municipal incidence, ZETA compared 2018 and 2019 in the period from January 1 to November 30:

* In Tijuana, considered the most violent city in the world last year - according to a study of 50 cities carried out by the Citizen Council of Public Security and Criminal Justice - most crimes continue to be perpetrated in BC. Between 72% and 77% of homicides during 2019, depending on the month.

In this city the murders dropped from 2,296 to 2, 047, that is, 249 fewer deaths, which means a reduction of 11%. Even so, in the municipality they kill 132 people per 100 ,000 inhabitants. While guilty homicides grew 30%, from 114 in 2018, to 164 in 2019.

* In Rosarito increased violent deaths from 113 to 149; those 36 additional bodies meant an increase of 32%, and, due to its lower geographical density, the municipality counts 163 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants. Wrongful deaths remained stable.

* In Ensenada the homicides grew from 240 to 253 bodies (5%), the guilty of 98 to 111 victims (13%) and recorded a rate of 52 executions per 100,000 thousand inhabitants.

* In Tecate there have been eight deaths less than last year, reducing its incidence by 8% and, given its small population, it records 84 murders per 100,000 inhabitants.

* Finally, Mexicali would be the safest city in Baja California, since deaths dropped 10% to 146 to 132 victims, with just 15 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants. But in the case of guilty deaths, it has the strangest and greatest increase from year to year: from 41 during 2018, it rose to 74 in 2019, which means 45% more than a sub-registration would mean.

The National Guard and Statistics:
For more than ten months in Baja California they have the first 200 National Guard elements sent by the Federation, the vast majority concentrated in Tijuana, where their presence has only stood out for the intervention to control migrant groups, and sporadically, providing support cordoning off area where other corporations perform operations.

The collaboration in the execution of arrest warrants has been so marginal that the number of orders made did not increase between February and October, but remained between 100 and 120 per month (see graph).

Specifically, Tijuana registered a slight decrease in the first two months of the arrival of these federal forces: from 220 dead in January, it fell to 145 and 152 in February and March, but returned to 217 in June, when the National Guard was occupied with the retention of the caravans of migrants and did not return to have a significant reduction until October, when new security commanders arrived with the municipal governments and added 156 dead.

The homicidal incidence of the other four municipalities was not impacted by the presence of the National Guard. However, they did have slight reductions in homicides, first in October with the change of municipal governments, and then with that of State Government.

In the case of Ensenada, 45 dead in October       2,062 executed in 2019; 213 victims are women

A few weeks after the end of the year, 2 062 homicides have been committed in Tijuana.

According to statistics from the State Attorney General's Office, of the total 213 victims were women. In the first five days of December, 25 executions were registered, five of these against women. For the crime of one murder of a woman was an alleged perpetrator, identified as José Pedro Tadeo Zamora, 37, arrested.

Until the end of this edition, Thursday, December 5, Baja California counted 2,702 wrongful killings during the course of 2019. (That is a week ago already).

The numbers went down to 24 in November; Playas de Rosarito decreased from 24 homicides in August to 11 in October; Tecate recorded six in August and the same amount in November; and Mexicali had 18 in October to go down to seven in November. But deadly statistics in Baja California remain very unstable.

Even without tangible results, on November 14, the governor of Baja California, Jaime Bonilla Valdez, announced that in December more elements of the aforementioned Guard would arrive, and on November 29, the Cabildo de Tijuana approved the divestiture of the land of 10,000 square meters in which the National Guard station will be built in the El Laurel subdivision, in the Presa Este delegation of Tijuana.

Narco Trafficking, Trafficking Routes and Drug Dealing:
The activities of the Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG) Arellano Félix (CAF) and the  Sinaloa Cartel (CDS) cartels have not been reduced by the presence of the National Guard, dedicated in this first phase to socialization and support to other corporations.

Pablo Huerta and Roque García, from CAF; Israel Alejandro Vázquez “Cabo 50” ,  David López Jiménez “Cabo 20” ,  Jesús Alfonso Trapero and Alejandro Estrada, of the CJNG; Felipe Eduardo Barajas Lozano “El Omega”, Vicente Martínez González “El Güilo”, Luis Alfredo Garibay Félix, Víctor Hugo Mejía “El Griego”, José Luis Mendoza Mendoza Uriarte “El Güero Chompas”, Alfonso and René Arzate, from the CDS, have been identified as operators of organized crime in Baja California at different levels.

The problem is precisely that, like their predecessors, in the first year of the Presidency of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, neither the Federal Government nor the Local government have been able to initiate files. Only the Arzates have arrest warrants against them for drug trafficking ... but in California, in the United States.

"In the murders we are facing the Pareto Law," said Juan Manuel Hernández Niebla, president of the CCS. “20% of criminals generate 80% of crime, we are talking about cartel leaders, who are the ones ordering these killings and practically all related to drug trafficking activities. But as long as there is no intelligence, investigation folders and the consequent arrest warrants of these people, the issue of homicides will be there. ”
Santiago Roel, of Criminal Traffic Light, finished:

“In Baja California, Tijuana and throughout the country, homicides are rooted in the Cartel's war over territorial control to sell drugs, ( the Plaza ) drug dealers and drug traffickers. In Baja California municipalities, the situation is exacerbated because the war is also for territorial control of the export market, although the latter is less violent than drug trafficking. The only way (to reduce homicides) is to regulate drugs, as proposed by Andrés Manuel López Obrador, is in his Peace and Security Plan, but he has not done anything, there is no initiative to regulate cannabis, they should already be regulating that and the poppy cultivation. Although violence would not necessarily lower in Tijuana as elsewhere, because this city has a territorial war for control of trafficking routes for the export market. ”

For his part, José Antonio Ortega Sánchez, of the civil association Citizen Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice, argued:

"The policy of ''Hugs, not bullets'' has had no results or a significant impact on homicides, because it is not fighting impunity or contributing to raising the justice rates or outcomes."

“The problem is that this authority continues to think that it is giving results on issues where there is no evidence that it is giving them. We are not sure that this marginal improvement in homicides is sustainable, ” emphasized Francisco Rivas, of the National Citizen Observatory.

“The statistics that  go up are 73% extortion, 29% drug trafficking. Baja California continues to occupy the first national place in vehicle theft although it has a 13% reduction. In addition, the State is in the top national places for violations, (rapes) and this year the complaints registered an increase of 5%, ” said Santiago Roel, of Criminal Traffic Light.

According to Hernández Niebla, homicides are not the subject of preventive police (PEP) , “a more armed strategy is needed, we are talking about prosecutors, the General, if we talk about drug trafficking, and the State dealing with narcomenudeo and homicide; it is very clear that the issue is related to that, and, no matter how many police we have in the State, they will hardly be able to reduce the number of homicides ”.

“The social programs that are supposed to be López Obrador's big bet are not useful in reducing incidence, because violence is not correlated with homicidal or drug-related violence. The relationship of violence is with unemployment, when theft increases, nothing more. High impact crimes do not rise. We told 4Q but they don't listen, ”said the analyst.

“Poverty must be fought because it is a social issue, but it is not correlated because there are rich and poor states with violence. Or cases like Yucatan, which is located in the middle table of wealth and is quiet. ”

Roel claimed the client theme of the programs: “They have a more electoral than social character, because they owe everything to López Obrador, and we don't have accounting or indicators that tell us if they are being applied well or not, and it has not been observed that have some impact on insecurity. ”

Insecurity and the Budget :
The analysts and advisors consulted said that the outlook on the issue of insecurity for 2020 is very adverse not only for Baja California, but for the rest of the country, mainly due to budget cuts, which will have a negative effect on the capacity of the states and municipalities to confront drug traffickers and drug dealers.

During 2019, the discharge plan showed a reduction in crime prevention by 27%; in anti-kidnapping issues it was reduced by 33%; in pursuit of justice 17%; people search 50%; and in human rights 10%. In counterpart, who is receiving greater recourse is the Army over the National Guard.

The lack of money is aggravated by the absence of a strategy in the framework of an institutional weakening, with the incipient process of formation of the National Guard, to which they are asking for things that they will not be able to do, because it is not ready.

Juan Manuel Hernández Niebla, of the CCSP, stressed that in Baja California there has been no improvement and, despite the commitment made by Governor Jaime Bonilla, without money nothing can be achieved , ie, funding the programs. 

He added that the governing body has already had the opportunity to present its proposals to improve the security conditions in the State to the new president, “we are talking first of a scheme of performance metrics, because of the way of how they are structured right now, they have neither the infrastructure nor material, human or the functionality to be able to accommodate and solve the high numbers of criminal incidence in the State, ” said Hernández Niebla.

"The analysis by state prosecutors in the country place Baja California in the last places, the judiciary is not better: it takes judges, courtrooms, public ministries, which can not be obtained without resources."

He explained that when Gov Bonilla heard them, he promised to manage the resources needed to improve services and tie the Prosecutor's Office with the Judiciary to avoid bottlenecks and promote expedited justice.

“But I understand now that budgets are not being given, nor have they been planned. And that is going to be the big problem. The Federation promises us security and we do not see that the money will flow, and the local authorities will not be able to work miracles, ” he warned, considering that in the indexes of insecurity, the financial strategy has no logic. 

“Between 2018 and 2019, investment in this arena was reduced by 10%, this year even more, and the decreases in priority areas such as the Judiciary and the Attorney General's Office stand out, that explains why Mexico occupies nothing, except worthy of last place among the countries integrated to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, where the average investment is 1.7% of the resource, while in Mexico it is only 0.9%.
Asked about whether the CCSP has expressed its concern to the Federal Government, Juan Manuel Hernández Niebla said:

“It is still very biased, for them, the Federal Gov't , ie,  the citizen participation of civil society organizations in any of the issues, is not considered  necessary, the gain that has given us has been very little. In particular, I invited delegate Ruiz Uribe twice to explain our opinion of the problem, present our proposal, but he did not even have the courtesy to answer us. Different from the opening meeting with  the new governor, who has always received us. ”

Between December 18 and 19, the CCSP will present to the state prosecutor, Guillermo Ruiz Hernández, the proposals already delivered to Jaime Bonilla, however, Hernández Niebla said: “But how are we going to succeed, if we are not assigned  enough money? The picture is discouraging. ” (Uriel Saucedo Ramírez collaborated with information).


  1. A dubious distinction, 2nd place = first place loser.

  2. No no murders in Mexico, may I offer you some poems, sorry Morales of Bolivia, president for 14 years, was constantly nagging, had to send him out of Mexico.

  3. At least México is good at something


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