Justice in Mexico

Ejecuciones up in 3rd quarter of 2009 over first two quarters; set to surpass 2008

Number of Drug Killings in MexicoAccording to Reforma, a Mexico City daily newspaper, the2009 tally of cartel-related killings, or ejecuciones, are on track to surpass the 2008 total by more than eight percent. Nearing the end of the third quarter of 2009, ejecucionesstood at 4,463 for 2009, as compared to 5,153 for all of 2008. Moreover, ejecuciones have been significantly higher in the third quarter than in the first half of 2009. The third quarter of 2009 has seen 1,533 killings, compared to an average of 1,465 for the first two quarters. With a week remaining in the quarter, the projected total is 1,651, a 12.7% increase over quarters 1 and 2.

 The state of Chihuahua remains the center of cartel-related violence with 1,413 ejecucionesin 2009 as Sep. 18. The state is projected to surpass its 2008 total by seven percent. Durango and Guerrero, with 598 and 560 ejecucionesrespectively, are on track to surpass their 2008 totals by 123% and 95%. Sinaloa, while seeing an increased rate of cartel killings over the past two quarters, is likely to see its overall total lower in 2009 than last year. In Baja California, the drastically reduced total of ejecucionesin 2009 (188 as compared to 617 in 2008) belies the continued state of insecurity there. Ten people were found dead in Tijuana in less than 12 hours, including a 1-year-old baby and six men who were burned to death inside an abandoned car. According to a recent national security survey, Baja California residents are among the most concerned with their safety among Mexican states (see Public Security Survey summary later in this report).

 Not included in the over 500 ejecucionesregistered during the current reporting period was the killing of a local politician and his family in the state of Tabasco. The Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) candidate for fourth district local deputy in Tabasco, José Francisco Fuentes Esperón, was shot dead in his home on September 5. Also killed were his wife and two children. The assassination of the political candidate—unprecedented in Tabasco—led the PRI to suspend the campaigns of all of its local candidates for the upcoming October 18 elections. Opposing candidates suspended their campaigns in solidarity. This was the third occurrence this year of gunmen targeting entire families in Tabasco. Four men, including two minors, have been arrested in connection with the killings.

In Guerrero, the government is pointing toward organized crime in investigations into the killing of local congressman Armando Chavarría on August 20, though a government spokesman said investigators are not ruling out political motivations, guerrilla groups, or a personal conflict.


“Ejecutómetro.” ReformaAccessed September 20, 2009.

OcampoArista, Sergio. “Guerrilla y crimenorganizado, líneas en pesquisassobre el casoChavarría.” La JornadaSeptember 3, 2009.

Barboza, Roberto. “Matan a candidato del PRI y a sufamilia en Tabasco.” El Universal September 5, 2009.

“Hallan a seiscalcinados en un auto, en Tijuana.” El Universal September 16, 2009.

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