miércoles, 13 de agosto de 2014

Mexican officials say worst crimes down in central Mexican states

Senior Mexican officials have said serious crimes like murder and kidnapping have declined considerably in the country's central regions including the capital, following security operations and collaboration between state and local authorities. The country's interior minister (Secretario de Gobernación), Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong said at the close of a security meeting in Mexico City that criminal killings (homicidios) dropped 32 per cent in the period January to the end of June 2014 compared to the same six months in 2013, killings related to organised crime 34 per cent and kidnappings 18 per cent, Milenio reported on 12 August. The daily provided a colour-coded chart of some of the figures given for the six-month period for six states of central Mexico including the capital, Guerrero, Estado de México and Morelos, south of the capital. Estado de México registered most murders in that period, 976, followed by Guerrero with 780 and the capital with 361. Estado de México was cited as the state with most kidnappings in this period, 80, followed by Morelos with 68 and Guerrero, 55. The daily, citing figures from the SNSP Secretariat, an Interior Ministry office, also named Estado de México as having had the most kidnappings, 562, followed by the capital with 313 and Morelos with 232. Mr Osorio said extortions had dropped overall 27 per cent in these states and all types of theft, 11 per cent. Critics often reject crime figures given by the state, pointing out that many crimes are not reported and therefore not included in statistics. They add that Mexican authorities like to "shave down" deplorable crime figures. The Citizens Council for Public Security and Penal Justice, an NGO that follows crime trends, expressed "strong scepticism" about the veracity of source figures transferred from local authorities to such bodies as SNSP and the state statistics agency INEGI. It observed on 29 July that INEGI's homicide figures for 2013, based on death certificates, were 25 per cent higher than those of the SNSP and Interior Ministry, and much higher in cases. INEGI counted for example 158 per cent more homicides in the state of Zacatecas in 2013 than the ministry, 74 per cent more in Tabasco, 70 per cent more in Estado de México and 48 per cent more in the capital and Chihuahua. These were partly for problematic methodologies it wrote, but "the fact is that most state governments report figures smaller than the real ones to the SNSP, to give the impression of fewer crimes and more efficiency." It urged the state to make access to "truthful and reliable" figures on crime a priority.