Crime and Violence

Homicides nationwide continue downward trend in 2014

Photo: SNSP.
Photo: SNSP.

11/02/14 (written by cmolzahn) — According to Mexico’s National Public Security System (Sistema Nacional de Seguridad Pública, SNSP), there were 11,835 intentional homicide investigations opened between January and September of this year, a 14% decline from the previous nine-month period. Mexico is on track to reach 15,780 by the end of the year, which would represent the same decline from 2013. This year, the SNSP has begun tracking the number of victims involved in its investigations into homicides, extortions, and kidnappings. The SNSP registered 13,128 victims of intentional homicide between January and September, with an average of 1,358 during the third quarter of 2014. This compares with 1,509 during the first six months of the year. The State of Mexico (Estado de México) has registered the most intentional homicides with 1,704, followed by Guerrero (1,150) and Chihuahua (977).

Despite a nationwide downward trend in homicides, at least three states—the State of Mexico, Michoacán, and Tamaulipas—appear on track to exceed their intentional homicide totals for 2013, although Michoacán has seen a decline over the past three months, averaging about 79 victims per month, as compared with 111 during the first six months of the year. All three of these states have seen military and federal police-led operations in recent months to respond to worsening public security situations.

Likewise, the SNSP reports a decline in both extortions and kidnappings as compared with 2013 of 15% and 10% respectively. 4,961 investigations were opened into complaints of extortion from January through September, as compared with 6,384 over the previous nine months. Meanwhile, 1,128 investigations were opened into kidnappings between January and September, as compared with 1,299 over the previous nine months. It must be noted, however, that despite these apparent advancements, extortion and kidnapping are notoriously underreported in Mexico (cifra negra). For its part, the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Instituto Nacional de la Estadística y Geografía, INEGI) estimates that just 1.3% of kidnappings and 1.5% of extortions are investigated. SNSP’s victimization data showed 1,529 victims of kidnappings involved in public prosecutor’s offices’ investigations in the first three quarters of 2014, and 4,988 victims of extortion.

Recent events in Guerrero have underscored some deficiencies in the SNSP’s reporting on incidences of crime, which depends on each state’s public prosecutor’s office disclosing investigations opened as well as the number of victims involved. As reported in Animal Político, the government of Guerrero did not include the 43 students who disappeared on September 26 in its figures for that month, with only nine victims of kidnapping reported for September. It also must be noted that unidentified bodies found in clandestine graves—like the 52 discovered in a yet undisclosed number of graves in Guerrero in October—are also not included in SNSP crime data, a fact that troubles Francisco Rivas, director general of the National Citizen Observatory (Observatorio Nacional Ciudadano). “Graves continue appearing, and they don’t tell us whose they are, but it also isn’t new. We indicated this last year, this constant discovery of graves should concern us,” he said.


Monroy, Jorge. “Edomex, la otra gran crisis de seguridad.” El Economista. October 21, 2014.

Sánchez de Tagle, Omar. “Gobierno de Guerrero no contó a desaparecidos de Ayotzinapa en índice delictivo de septiembre.” Animal Político. October 22, 2014.

“Informe de víctimas de homicidio, secuestro y extorsiones 2014.” Secretario Ejecutivo del Sistema Nacional de Seguridad Pública. Accessed November 2, 2014.

“Cifras de incidencia delictiva 1997-2014.” Secretario Ejecutivo del Sistema Nacional de Seguridad Pública. Accessed November 2, 2014.


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