Would it be unfair to call Mexico a “functional narcostate”? (amongst all its disfunction, that is)
The Federal District, home to some nine million of the 20 million inhabitants in the Mexico City metropolitan area, saw homicides rise 21% to 566 in the first eight months of this year, according to Interior Ministry data released last week, putting the capital’s murder rate at its highest level over the same period since 1998.
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The increase in murders in Mexico City has contributed to a nationwide rise in homicide for the first time since President Enrique Peña Nieto took power in late 2012, months after the rate of killings linked to the country’s murderous drug war began to fall.
During the first eight months of this year, murders rose 5% nationwide. August was the fourth consecutive month in which the murder rate increased.
The rising toll is a big challenge for Mr. Peña Nieto, whose administration had trumpeted the decline in murders over the past two years as proof that the government’s security initiatives, such as improved coordination between crime-fighting agencies like the army and federal police, were working.
Raúl Toledo, a security consultant and former city official, said the rise in Mexico City’s crime rate coincides with estimates by local authorities of a 17% increase in drug consumption in the capital over the past three years.
Latin American countries are prone to deny the existence of drug use among their citizenry. Yet it exists.
And of course they also deny the existence of organized crime.