Apr 11, 2013

Mexico: Government Says Murders Tied to Organized Crime Have Fallen

The NY Times
By Randal C. Archibold
April 10, 2013

Mexico City - The new government here, which has complained that Mexico’s image has been sullied by persistent reports of violent crime, presented data on Wednesday that it said showed that murders related to organized crime had dropped sharply.

Though analysts raised concerns about how the information was compiled, the government said that since Dec. 1, when President Enrique Peña Nieto took office, there had been 4,249 homicides that bore the markings of organized crime. That was down 685, or about 14 percent, from the 4,934 over the same period a year earlier.

The government said it also had seized more marijuana and cocaine in the more recent period and reported a drop in kidnappings, but it did not release data on extortion, another crime often associated with criminal gangs.

Analysts questioned the criminal data, particularly homicides classified as related to organized crime. Though vetted by the federal government, much of that data originally comes from the 31 states and federal district, with inconsistent or misreporting of cases and subjective criteria on what constitutes a cartel-related crime.

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