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News Article

Lowest Homicide Rate in Years/Another Journalist Murdered

By Paloma Duran | Thu, 03/17/2022 - 13:24

Mexico registered its lowest number of homicides in recent years. The Minister of Security and Citizen Protection (SCPC) Rosa Icela reported that in February the country registered the lowest number of homicides in the last five years, which shows that the government's efforts have worked. “We have a decrease in intentional homicides. Last month we had one of our lowest figures in five years. These results show that the national security strategy is working.”

According to SCPC, the country has registered a downward trend in intentional homicides in the last ten months. Icela recalled that in February 2018 there was an average of 87 homicides per day. Today, during the government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador the figure has dropped to 81, representing a reduction of 14.2 percent. The authorities said that efforts will be strengthened in the states with the most homicides: Michoacan, Guanajuato, Baja California, the State of Mexico, Jalisco and Chihuahua.

Journalist Armando Linares murdered. Security Minister Ricardo Mejía reported that the murder of journalist Armando Linares is still being investigated. In addition, he stressed that the possible perpetrators of the murder have already been identified and will be investigated to clarify the case. “Those likely responsible for the murder of Armando Linares have already been identified.”

On March 15, Linares, who was the director of the Michoacán Monitor, was shot eight times outside his home in Zitacuaro, Michoacan. In 2021, his media outlet published articles accusing former Zitácuaro Mayor Carlos Herrera and former Governor Silvano Aureoles of corruption and theft. Although authorities have not found a connection between the murder and Herrera or Aureoles, the articles are believed to have been the motive for his murder. With Linares' murder, the number of journalists murdered in Mexico in 2022 rises to eight. Currently, Mexico is one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist, since more than 90 percent of crimes remain unsolved.

AMLO says there is a disinformation campaign against the AIFA. López Obrador stressed that there is a smear campaign against the Felipe Angeles International Airport (AIFA), for which the government will provide more information, especially on how to travel to the new facilities. “We are going to report more on the Felipe Angeles Airport because there is much misinformation from opposition groups. They say it takes a week to arrive. It is not true. We are going to inform because we do not want any misinformation and manipulation. It is such an important project and we will not let our adversaries ruin it for us.”

Mexican authorities plan to inaugurate the AIFA on March 21. However, it has been underlined that the project is not finished. While the commercial center is already in operation and part of the airport facilities are finished, the AIFA continues without main accesses or roads. According to Expansión, road constructions are not completed yet and have no completion date. 

New Center for the Identification of missing people. The National Commissioner for the Search for Persons of Mexico Karla Quintana proposed the creation of a National Center for Human Identification, which seeks to identify disappeared people. Quintana said that a legislative initiative would first have to be approved by the legislature to create the center and thus implement better strategies. “The lack of information, negligence and local obstruction are part of the reasons that have generated a forensic crisis in the country. We need to fix this situation. I think a center would be the best option.”

In 2021, Mexican authorities announced there were 91,672 missing people, of which 22,595 were women and 68,562 men. According to authorities, most missing people situations end in homicides or human trafficking. In 2021, the Mexican government announced that the country was undergoing a forensic emergency. However, the measures implemented did not change the situation. Consequently, activists, relatives of the disappeared and NGOs have urged the government to have specialized institutions and legislations.

 

Click HERE for full transcript in Spanish

Paloma Duran Paloma Duran Journalist and Industry Analyst