Data shows violence in Mexico is rising and spreading

Semáforo Delictivo's data confirms a worrisome trend: Mexico's homicide rates are climbing.
Semáforo Delictivo’s data confirms a worrisome trend: Mexico’s homicide rates are climbing.

By Michael Lohmuller / InSight Crime

Data compiled by a Mexican civil society group confirms a disturbing trend noted in Mexico in recent months — violence is not only rising sharply it is also spreading to regions not previously considered organized crime hotspots.

During the first trimester of 2016, Mexican organization Semáforo Delictivo documented a 15 percent increase in homicides related to organized crime.

The group’s director, Santiago Roel, said 57 percent of total homicides this year were the result of criminal executions, up from 48 percent for the same period in 2015, reported Excelsior.

In total, Semáforo Delictivo registered 4,456 homicides during the first three months of 2016 — up from 3,862 in 2015 — putting Mexico on pace to have around 18,000 murders this year.

Mexico’s increasing homicide levels are in part being driven by geographic regions typically associated with violence and criminal activity, most notably Guerrero.

However, Mexico’s rising homicide trend is even more troubling for the increases in places one might not immediately suspect, such as Colima.

Fiat Chrysler to move Jeep SUV production to Toluca

Chicago Tribune – Fiat Chrysler confirmed that the automaker plans to move production of a Jeep SUV to Toluca, Mexico, from Belvidere, Ill., and move production of Ram pickups to Sterling Heights, Mich. from Warren, Mich. The moves are part of a massive plan to shift production of smaller vehicles to Mexico while concentrating on the production of more profitable Jeep SUVs and Ram pickups in the U.S.

GOP deal clears way for new ambassador to Mexico

Politico – Senate Republicans who have been negotiating a way to confirm Roberta Jacobson as the nation’s top diplomat to Mexico have reached the contours of an agreement that would allow Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla) — Jacobson’s chief obstacle — to secure renewed sanctions against Venezuela in exchange for lifting his objections.

IMF official: Mexico should use central bank windfall to tighten belt

Reuters – Mexico should use a windfall from its central bank to further tighten its belt this year as it suffers from a drop in revenue from lower oil prices, a senior official of the International Monetary Fund said. Earlier this month, the Finance Ministry received a transfer of 239 billion Mexican pesos ($13.6 billion) from the central bank from part of the gains made on dollar reserves in 2015 because of a sharp currency depreciation.

UN office “concerned” over Mexico missing students case

A woman protests with the parents of 43 missing students 18 months after their disappearance. (Yuri Cortex/AFP)
A woman protests with the parents of 43 missing students 18 months after their disappearance. (Yuri Cortex/AFP)

By Maria Verza / Associated Press

A U.N. human rights office said on Tuesday that it is troubled by a group of international experts’ complaints of obstacles to their investigation into the disappearance of 43 students in Mexico.

Rupert Colville, spokesman for the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, said in a statement that the office is “concerned about the many challenges and obstacles reported by the experts,” including the ability to examine other lines of investigation such the possible roles of the military and other officials in the case.

He called on the Mexican government to “take into serious consideration” the recommendations of the group of experts from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

The group’s report from Sunday criticized the government’s investigation of the 2014 disappearances. It said suspects were apparently tortured and key pieces of evidence were not investigated or handled properly.