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Murder in Mexico

President Peña disputed the Mexican murder figures published in Tijuana’s Zeta.
President Peña disputed the Mexican murder figures published in Tijuana’s Zeta.

Drug-related homicides have been up sharply in Tijuana, but there’s a political shoot-out over just how much, according to a new report by the University of San Diego’s Justice in Mexico project. Though drug-gang conflict was said by the government to be generally down in Mexico during 2013, “One exception in the north is Baja California, which saw a 31% increase in homicides, particularly as the city of Tijuana saw an increase in violence that ran counter to the significant declines elsewhere in the country.”

Bad as that is, the situation may be even worse, both in Tijuana and across Mexico, than official body counts admit to. “The Tijuana-based publication Zeta identified a total of 23,640 homicides that they believe were related to organized crime, greatly exceeding other estimates and directly contradicting Mexican government claims that such killings have decreased in the last year,” notes the USD report. “Homicides tallied by Zeta took place from December 2012 through January 2014, for a monthly average of 1688 homicides.

Zeta and other critics claim that the government’s methodology for tallying homicides is unreliable, since the government counts investigations initiated for homicides (rather than actual victims of homicide).” The newspaper’s numbers drew the ire of Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto. “When asked about Zeta’s claims by French newspaper Le Monde, Peña Nieto said that he was not familiar with their figures but questioned their reliability, insisting that government figures show a 16% decrease in international homicide and a 30% decrease in [organized crime group] homicides in 2013.”

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President Peña disputed the Mexican murder figures published in Tijuana’s Zeta.
President Peña disputed the Mexican murder figures published in Tijuana’s Zeta.

Drug-related homicides have been up sharply in Tijuana, but there’s a political shoot-out over just how much, according to a new report by the University of San Diego’s Justice in Mexico project. Though drug-gang conflict was said by the government to be generally down in Mexico during 2013, “One exception in the north is Baja California, which saw a 31% increase in homicides, particularly as the city of Tijuana saw an increase in violence that ran counter to the significant declines elsewhere in the country.”

Bad as that is, the situation may be even worse, both in Tijuana and across Mexico, than official body counts admit to. “The Tijuana-based publication Zeta identified a total of 23,640 homicides that they believe were related to organized crime, greatly exceeding other estimates and directly contradicting Mexican government claims that such killings have decreased in the last year,” notes the USD report. “Homicides tallied by Zeta took place from December 2012 through January 2014, for a monthly average of 1688 homicides.

Zeta and other critics claim that the government’s methodology for tallying homicides is unreliable, since the government counts investigations initiated for homicides (rather than actual victims of homicide).” The newspaper’s numbers drew the ire of Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto. “When asked about Zeta’s claims by French newspaper Le Monde, Peña Nieto said that he was not familiar with their figures but questioned their reliability, insisting that government figures show a 16% decrease in international homicide and a 30% decrease in [organized crime group] homicides in 2013.”

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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