29 July 2013
The Mexican government has reported a total of 244 public servants murdered during the first six months of 2013, a number possibly affected by this year’s electoral violence.
According to the Defense Ministry (SEDENA), the number of public servants who died from January through June included 14 soldiers. The Mexican Navy has not yet reported its numbers, reported El Economista.
Several Mexican mayors were among the public servants who died this year. Wilfrido Flores Villa, an interim mayor in Michoacan state, was shot to death in February; Mayor Jose Rene Garrido Rocha was killed in Puebla state in April; and two mayors from Oaxaca state were killed, one in March the other in June.
In its own seperate count, El Economista estimated that 14 members of the national police have been killed this year just in Michoacan state, where 10 federal police have been among the 36 people to die in the past week in an ongoing wave of violence, according to news agency Imagen del Golfo.
InSight Crime Analysis
Mexico’s local elections, which took place earlier in July, may have had an impact on this year’s numbers of public servant deaths. A great deal of violence was registered in the run-up to the elections as criminal groups looked to ensure political influence.
Police deaths were also likely a significant contributor to the count; in March, Milenio reported that 100 police and soldiers had died in the first three months of the new administration.
Previously, SEDENA’s reporting of military deaths has raised questions, both over seemingly contradictory figures and extremely low army deaths compared to deaths of “aggressors.”
Comparing the number of military deaths under the government of President Enrique Peña Nieto so far and the total number under the previous administration of Felipe Calderon hints at a decline. However, it is still too early to meaningfully compare the two administrations, and not yet possible to assess whether the president’s pledge to take a less militarized approach to fighting organized crime will lead to a significant drop in the number of deaths.