January 24, 2014 |
In reading the following article, there are certain facts one must keep in mind:
The State of Chihuahua measures 95,543 square miles and has a population of 3,470,783 (2012).
The State of Michoacan measures 22,625 square miles, with a population of 4,412,767 (2012).
The State of Mexico (Edomex) is 1,800 square miles, with a population of 15,680,766 (2013). As reported here in the Borderland Beat, there have been 51 executions so far this year in Edomex.
The reason I include these statistics is that, calculated on a per capita basis, or using the standard index of instances per 100,000 population, the numbers in Chihuahua are actually much worse than the report indicates. I must also point out that the government officials and public representatives that the reporter quotes assume that the decrease in the number of homicides in Juarez was the result of the policies that these officials and representatives describe.— un vato
Although the state of Michoacan is now the focus of national and international attention due to the violence generated by crime and the rise of citizen self defense groups, it has not yet reached the levels of violence attained in Chihuahua.
In fact, during the eight year period between 2006 and 2013, the number of murder victims in the central state (Michoacan) amount to about a third of the number reported here, according to comparisons carried out using information from the National Criminal Index (Incidencia Delictiva Nacional) published by the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System (Secretariado Ejecutivo del Sistema Nacional de Seguridad Publica).
Just in 2013 alone, as reported by the organization, an office within the Secretariat of Governance (Segob; Secretaria de Gobernacion), 961 murders were reported to the Public Ministry in that state, while the same source indicates that 1,443 persons were murdered in Chihuahua.
Meanwhile, information from the State General Prosecutor (FGE; Fiscalia General del Estado) in the northern zone indicates that there were 485 murders in Juarez last year.
Along with the deployment of the Federal Police and the Mexican Army in an attempt to control the situation in Michoacan, the Federal Government is considering the implementation there of the strategy of citizen participation established here which, according to government officials and public representatives, helped decrease the level of crime, above all in the border city.
During his visit to the border area last week, the Segob’s Deputy Secretary of Prevention and Citizen Participation, Roberto Campa Cifrian, met with members of the Juarez Board of Security and Justice (MSJ; Mesa de Seguridad y Justicia), members of the Trust for Competitiveness and Citizen Safety (Ficosec; Fideicomiso para la Competividad y Seguridad Ciudadana), the Chihuahua Citizen Observatory for Prevention, Security and Justice, and other civic entities to convey that intent.
The main objective, said members of the Juarez groups, is to permeate Michoacan society with the need to face public safety problems from a perspective of citizen cooperation without the use of firearms, as is happening today.
“What has been done here in Juarez has drawn the Federal government’s attention, and they want to take this model and use it in places like Michoacan and Tamaulipas”, explained the director of MSJ, Jorge Contreras Fornelli. The citizen representative pointed out that public participation in the resolution of public safety problems is basic, which is why it is important for for people to participate in the process of fighting crime.
Although the circumstances in Michoacan are somewhat different than those that prevailed in Chihuahua, the members of the local social groups agreed that it is possible, by means of several adaptations, to begin to work in that state towards a decrease in crime.
Data from Federal entities establishes that, between 2006 and 2013, there were 5,631 murders in the central Mexican state.
During that same period, there were 16,824 murders committed in Chihuahua, according to those same entities.
Using those numbers as a base, it can be stated that the number of persons murdered during that eight year period in Michoacan represents 33.4% of the victims reported in Chihuahua.