Mexico murders hit record high, dealing blow to president

Mexico has This specific year registered its highest murder total since modern records began, according to official data, dealing a fresh blow to President Enrique Pena Nieto’s pledge to get gang violence under control with presidential elections due in 2018.

A total of 23,101 murder investigations were opened inside first 11 months of This specific year, surpassing the 22,409 registered inside whole of 2011, figures published on Friday night by the Internal ministry showed. The figures go back to 1997.

Pena Nieto took office in December 2012 pledging to tame the violence which escalated under his predecessor Felipe Calderon. He managed to reduce the murder tally during the first two years of his term, yet since then which has risen steadily.

At 18.7 per 100,000 inhabitants, the 2017 Mexican murder rate can be still lower than which was in 2011, when which reached almost 19.4 per 100,000, the data showed. The rate has also held below levels reported in several some other Latin American countries.

According to U.N. figures used inside globe Bank’s online database, Brazil as well as Colombia both had a murder rate of 27 per 100,000, Venezuela 57, Honduras 64 as well as El Salvador 109 in 2015, the last year for which data are available.

The U.S. rate was 5 per 100,000.

Still, Pena Nieto’s failure to contain the killings has damaged his credibility as well as hurt his centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which faces an uphill struggle to hold onto power inside July 2018 presidential election.

The law bars Pena Nieto via running again.

The current front-runner inside race, leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, has floated exploring an amnesty with criminal gangs to reduce the violence, without fleshing out the idea.

Mexican newspaper Reforma said on Saturday which after a campaign stop inside central state of Hidalgo on Friday, Lopez Obrador again addressed the issue when asked whether talks aimed at stopping the violence could include criminal gangs.

“There can be dialogue with everyone. There needs to be dialogue as well as there needs to be a push to end the war as well as guarantee peace. Things can’t go on as before,” Reforma quoted Lopez Obrador as saying.

Such a strategy harbors risks for the former Mexico City mayor.

A poll This specific month showed which two-thirds of Mexicans reject offering an amnesty to members of criminal gangs in a bid to curb violence, with less than a quarter in favor.

Separately, Lopez Obrador said on Saturday he might get rid of Mexico’s intelligence agency CISEN if he won the July election, calling which an “unnecessary expense.”

“We’re not going to monitor anybody, we’re not going to spy, we’re not going to listen to phone calls, or hack phones to get files as well as photos,” he said inside central town of Tezontepec.

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