Archive for June 22nd, 2010

“Feelings” about crime numbers

June 22, 2010

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FORMER BORDER PATROL OFFICERS
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Foreign News Report

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“Feelings” about crime numbers

El Universal (Mexico City) 6/21/10

[Editorial from El Universal:]

The federal government has said on various occasions that the thousands of executions recorded every year in the country are mostly the product of fights among organized crime killers. How can they be so sure? In reality, they aren’t. They have investigated less than 5% of the assassinations occurring during this administration. To date, it is not known which of the executed victims may have really been innocent civilians sent to oblivion with the recurrent phrase: “it was a settling of accounts.” For all the money allotted to TV advertising and other displays, no government policy will gain highly sought popular support if there is no coherence.

Even President Calderon has mentioned numbers about this issue without any documented reference. From February 2009 to date he has said that more than 90% of the homicides and executions related to organized crime belong to mafia members. He repeated this assertion just last April. The problem is that something as important as the re-named “struggle for security” ought not to be carried out under subjective criteria and personal perceptions. The cost in lives during an armed struggle increases when light diagnostics are carried out.

It’s understood that the PGR (Department of Justice equiv.) may not have the capacity to thoroughly investigate the 22 thousand deaths associated with organized crime during this administration. One must assume, therefore, that the rest of the one thousand 200 previous investigations – more than 20 thousand –  are in the hands of the state attorneys’ offices. Unfortunately, the situation in those agencies is the same or worse than in the PGR, not only because they refuse to get involved in crimes  which – they say to justify themselves – are under federal jurisdiction, but because they lack the capacity for a serious, methodical and scientific investigation. Faced with that deficit, the first thing the federal government should be doing is to set the example.

In order to obtain the backing of public opinion on this issue, and to have society see how necessary the “struggle for security” is, the federal government must begin with coherence. Instead of trying to convince people that the dead are insignificant because they’re hired killers, the President could show that at least matters of public relevance are really investigated in an objective fashion.

The cases of the Tec students (making reference to a number of Monterrey Tech Institute students killed in a crossfire) and the murdered children – according to indications – at a military checkpoint in Tamaulipas were a perfect opportunity to show this coherence.

By continuing to explain beforehand every execution as a “settling of accounts” among criminals a mantle of impunity is given to the aggressors and the credibility of the necessary fight against insecurity is eroded.

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Crimes go unreported

Of the 12 million crimes committed annually in Mexico, only 1.5 million are reported due to the distrust of the judicial system, according to the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH).  The lack of confidence is based on failure of the judges to give jail sentences, evidenced by the fact that the number of inmates in the prison system has not increased in the past five years.

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Cambio de Michoacan (Morelia, Michoacan) 6/21/10

Combat wages

One of the attackers arrested in the ambush murders of 12 Federal Police last June 14 [M3 Weekend Report], related that the hired guns were offered 4,000 pesos [about $319] each to participate in the attack.  This was the equivalent of two week’s wages with the criminal organization.

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El Imparcial (Hermosillo, Sonora) 6/21/10

Carlos Pascual, US Ambassador to Mexico, affirmed that the US authorities are committed to conducting a “transparent” investigation into the recent deaths of two Mexicans at the hands of the Border Patrol.

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-end of report-


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