Mexico Loses Faith in Drug War, as Bodies Pile up in Pacific States

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Amid news of the discovery of dozens of corpses in abandoned cars in Guadalajara and Culiacan, a survey has found that the proportion of the Mexican public who have confidence in the government’s ability to combat organised crime has declined to 14 percent.

According to the ninth annual survey on the Perception of Security in Mexico, only 14 per cent of the public believes that the administration of President Felipe Calderon will win the war against organized crime. This represents a considerable decline in public confidence from March 2010, when 23 per cent of respondents in a similar survey believed the government would succeed.

The survey, carried out jointly by Mitofsky Consulting and the NGO Mexico United against Crime (MUCD), found that 44 per cent of those surveyed believe the security situation in Mexico will remain the same in 2012, while some 30 per cent believe that security will deteriorate further. Eight in 10 Mexicans believe that insecurity has increased compared to the same period a year ago.

While delivering the findings of the survey, which was conducted from 21 to 24 October in 1,000 homes across Mexico, the general secretary of MUCD, Juan Francisco Torres, described as “worrying” the fact that such a large percentage of the population believes that government attempts to combat organized crime and improve security “have been a failure.”

However, in spite of criticism of President Calderon’s use of the military in the fight against organized crime, 86 per cent of those surveyed were in favor of increasing the number of troops in cities across the country. As InSight Crime has noted, faith in the armed forces has remained high, even in the face of allegations of abuse and questions over Calderon’s approach to security.

According to official figures, the number of reported crimes in Mexico has increased from 1.5 million in 2006, the year in which President Calderon came to office, to 1.8 million in 2010, an increase of 16.3 per cent.

Meanwhile, in a further demonstration of the worsening security situation in the country, 24 people were killed in just over four hours in northwestern state of Sinaloa on Wednesday, in what was one of the most violent days in the region so far this year, according to the state attorney. In Guadalajara, Jalisco, 23 bodies were found dumped in vehicles on Thursday.

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