Tags: enrique peña nieto | mexico | murders

Mexico Marks Deadliest Year in Modern History

Image: Mexico Marks Deadliest Year in Modern History
(AFP/Yuri Cortez)

By    |   Saturday, 23 December 2017 03:24 PM

Mexico marked its deadliest year in modern history, dealing a blow to President Enrique Peña Nieto's promise to bring gang violence under control before the 2018 presidential election.

According to figures published Friday night by Mexico's interior ministry, 23,101 murder investigations had been opened in the first 11 months of 2017, more than the 22,401 that were registered in all of 2011, reports The Guardian.

The ministry's figures date back to 1997.

Peña Nieto is not eligible to seek reelection in 2018, according to Mexican law, but his failures to contain the violence have damaged his credibility and hurt his Industrial Revolutionary Party at a time when the centrist party is facing struggles to hold on to its power in the presidential election, set for next July.

When Peña Nieto first took office in December 2012, he promised to bring the violence under control after it escalated under former President Felipe Calderón. The numbers dropped during Peña Nieto's first term, but after that began to rise again.

Even with the increased numbers of investigations, the 2017 murder rate in Mexico is still slightly lower than in 2011, when it was 19.4 people per 100,000. The current rate is at 18.7 per 100,000 inhabitants.

Mexico's levels are also below those in several other Latin American countries, according to United Nations figures in the World Bank's online database

According to those statistics, the murder rate in 2015, the last year the data is available, was 27 per 100,000 in Brazil and Colombia; 57 in Venezuela; 64 in Honduras; and 109 in El Salvador. In the United States, the rate was much lower, at 5 people per 100,000.

Leftist candidate Andres Manuel López Obrador, the frontrunner in the race, has talked about exploring amnesty with criminal gangs, and again on Saturday addressed the issue, reports the Mexican newspaper Reforma.

"There can be dialogue with everyone. There needs to be dialogue and there needs to be a push to end the war and guarantee peace. Things can’t go on as before,” Reforma quoted López Obrador as saying.

That strategy may cause issues for López Obrador, a former Mexico City mayor, with a recent poll showing that two thirds of Mexicans reject the amnesty idea.

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Mexico marked its deadliest year in modern history in 2017, dealing a blow to President Enrique Peña Nieto's promise to bring gang violence under control before the 2018 presidential election.
enrique peña nieto, mexico, murders
371
2017-24-23
Saturday, 23 December 2017 03:24 PM
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