May 2013 homicide in Guerrero

Mexican border state Chihuahua and the southwest state of Guerrero tied for highest murder rate in the country in 2012, according to preliminary homicide figures released by the country's statistics institute, which depict trends reflecting changing dynamics in Mexico's criminal conflict.

Mexico's National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) reported a 2012 countrywide homicide rate of 22 per 100,000 residents, with 26,037 violent deaths. Chihuahua and Guerrero had homicide rates far above the national average, at 77 per 100,000 residents, with 2,783 and 2,684 murders, respectively. The only state that surpassed these two in homicide numbers was Mexico state, with 2,905, though its homicide rate was actually below the national average, at 18 per 100,000.

The statistics reported by INEGI showed a downward trend for homocides in Chihuahua state and an upward trend for Guerrero. While Chihuahua's rate peaked in 2010 with a rate of 182 per 100,000, Guerrero homicide rates have risen significantly since that year, when they were at 45 per 100,000.

Other states with high 2012 homicide rates included Sinaloa and Durango, both with 48 per 100,000 residents, and Tamaulipas, with 46 per 100,000.

InSight Crime Analysis

Guerrero and Chihuahua were also the two most dangerous states in Mexico in 2011, with homicide rates of 70 per 100,000 and 126 per 100,000, respectively, according to INEGI. However, the difference between Guerrero rates and those of Sinaloa and Durango was much smaller that year -- Sinaloa saw a rate of 69 per 100,000 and Durango 63 per 100,000. 

As InSight Crime has noted, the climbing rates in Guerrero as rates drop in other parts of the country that have been central to the conflict reflect a shift in drug violence patterns. The drop in Chihuahua rates is likely linked to the Sinaloa Cartel's consolidation of power in the state, which put an end to a violent war with the Juarez Cartel. In Guerrero, meanwhile, rival splinter groups of major criminal organizations, such as the Jalisco Cartel - New Generation (CJNG) and the Knights Templar are fighting violent turf wars.

SEE ALSO: Juarez After the War

In this context, the low 2012 homicide rate in Michoacan (18 per 100,000) is interesting as it, like neighboring Guerrero, is home to these same splinter groups and the Familia Michoacana, and has experienced high levels of violence in 2013. In just one week in July 2013, the state reportedly saw 36 homicides, and rising insecurity led the national government to deploy thousands of soldiers to the state earlier in the year.

Mexico homicides by states 2012 17.14.13

Investigations

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Prev Next

Colombia Elites and Organized Crime: 'Jorge 40'

Colombia Elites and Organized Crime: 'Jorge 40'

Rodrigo Tovar Pupo never imagined it would come to this: dressed in an orange jumpsuit in a Washington DC courtroom and standing in front of a United States federal judge, the grandson of a wealthy Colombian cattle rancher and nephew to a governor was facing a possible...

Guatemala Elites and Organized Crime: Introduction

Guatemala Elites and Organized Crime: Introduction

Guatemala is Central America’s most populous country and its largest economy. But an intransigent elite, an ambitious military and a weak state has opened the way for organized crime to flourish, especially since the return of democracy.

Guatemala Elites and Organized Crime: The 'Huistas'

Guatemala Elites and Organized Crime: The 'Huistas'

In the northwest corner of Guatemala, a little known criminal organization known as the "Huistas" dominates the underworld, in large part due its ties with businessmen, law enforcement officials and politicians.

The FARC and the Drug Trade: Siamese Twins?

The FARC and the Drug Trade: Siamese Twins?

The FARC have always had a love-hate relationship with drugs. They love the money it brings, funds which have allowed them to survive and even threaten to topple the state at the end of the 1990s. They hate the corruption and stigma narcotics have also brought to...

Honduras Elites and Organized Crime: Juan Ramón Matta Ballesteros

Honduras Elites and Organized Crime: Juan Ramón Matta Ballesteros

On the morning of April 5, 1988, Juan Ramón Matta Ballesteros left his palatial Tegucigalpa estate for a jog. Matta Ballesteros was wanted for murder, drug trafficking and other crimes in several countries, but in Honduras he felt safe. He regularly hosted parties for high-level officials at...

Guatemala Elites and Organized Crime: The CICIG

Guatemala Elites and Organized Crime: The CICIG

Like any arm of the justice system, the United Nations-backed International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (Comisión Internacional Contra la Impunidad en Guatemala - CICIG) had its battles with elites who used their charm and their muscle to try to influence what and who the celebrated commission...

Honduras Elites and Organized Crime: The Cachiros

Honduras Elites and Organized Crime: The Cachiros

As it tends to happen in Honduras, the news began as a well-heeled rumor: Javier Rivera Maradiaga, the oldest of the three Rivera Maradiaga brothers still alive and leader of the feared and powerful Honduran drug trafficking group known as the Cachiros, had handed himself in to...

Elites and Organized Crime: Conceptual Framework - Organized Crime

Elites and Organized Crime: Conceptual Framework - Organized Crime

This project defines organized crime as: a structured group of people that associate on a regular and prolonged basis to benefit from illicit activities and illegal markets. This group can be local, national or transnational in nature, and its existence is maintained using violence and threats; corruption...

Elites and Organized Crime: Preface

Elites and Organized Crime: Preface

Organized crime is not an abstract concept for me. I grew up in Oak Park, a leafy suburb of Chicago with a population of about 60,000. In general, it was a very low crime city, which is perhaps why many mobsters made their homes there, among them...

Colombia Elites and Organized Crime: 'Don Berna'

Colombia Elites and Organized Crime: 'Don Berna'

By the end of 1993, Pablo Escobar was cornered. The cocaine king -- known as "El Patrón" -- was running out of money and options. His top assassins were either dead or had turned themselves in. Almost all of the senior members of the Medellín Cartel were...