MEXICO CITY – Mexico has slammed a report from a London-based think tank indicating the Aztec nation had the world’s second-highest number of intentional homicides last year, saying that ranking did not reflect reality.
“Mexico is far from being one of the world’s most violent countries,” the Government Secretariat and the Foreign Relations Secretariat said in a joint statement Wednesday.
That report by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, published on Tuesday, said Mexico’s total number of intentional homicides in 2016, 23,000, was second only to the 50,000 in Syria, where a civil war has been raging for more than six years.
The international affairs think tank said the violence in Mexico had occurred in the context of a war on drugs and an arms race among rival drug cartels.
In criticizing the report, the Mexican government said the authors had shown a lack of technical rigor in relying on non-official figures.
It also blasted the institute for stating that violence sparked by organized-crime groups in Mexico and Central America’s Northern Triangle (Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador) had reached the levels of an armed conflict.
Mexico’s government said that categorization was irresponsible and inaccurate, arguing that the existence of criminal gangs and the use of the armed forces to maintain internal public order were not sufficient criteria for such an assessment.
The report seeks to give similar treatment to nations that are facing completely different phenomena which are not comparable, the secretariats said.
They also provided figures from a United Nations report released in 2014 to show Mexico’s rates of violence pale in comparison to other countries.
That UN report showed that in Latin America alone Honduras, Venezuela, Belize, Colombia and Brazil had homicide rates per 100,000 inhabitants of 90.4, 53.7, 44.7, 30.8 and 25.2, respectively, in 2012, while Mexico’s rate was 21.5, they said.