Mexico Marks 2017 as Bloodiest in 20 Years Despite Incomplete Cartel Crime Statistics


The raging cartel violence spreading throughout the country has marked 2017 as the bloodiest year since 1997 when the government began documenting such murders. The official figures, however, pale in comparison to reality since they do not account for the number of victims “disappeared” by cartel gunmen–including those who were incinerated or buried in clandestine graves.

The new statistics released by Mexico’s National Public Security System (SESNSP)revealed that for the year, the country suffered a total of 26,573 murders; 1,275 kidnappings; and 5,357 extortion cases. The 2017 murder total surpassed all previously recorded years since initial recording in 1997.

The record-breaking figures come at the end of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s Administration, who won his 2012 bid on the promise of reducing cartel violence. Soon after his election, Peña Nieto pushed for the creation of a new federal police force and modernizing Mexico’s judicial system. The administration was plagued by public corruption scandals and the discovery of Peña Nieto’s taking cartel funds during the election. The press freedom group Article 19 recently released a report about the billions in public funding that EPN used to control news outlets.

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