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Report: Homicides Up In Mexico For First Time Since Peña Nieto Took Office

April 25, 2016 1:21 p.m.


David Shirk, associate professor of political science, University of San Diego

Related Story: Report: Homicides Up In Mexico For First Time Since Peña Nieto Took Office


This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

Is the level of violence by criminal gangs in Mexico on the rise again? That is a disturbing question arising from a new report hundred drug violence in Mexico. Effort to her segment Mexico sawn increased and murders last year. Researchers say the causes are complex and range from economics to legal accountability. Joining me is tran a. Sensible investigator at the trust is in Mexico. And co-author of the new rate port entitled "Drug Violence in Mexico". The organization justice in Mexico had predicted a 9% drop in Hamas saying in 2015 what do you find the causes?
First of all, there is no guarantee that past trends will be predictive of future performance. In practically anything. So we cautiously hoped more than predicted that we would see continued drop as we had seen year-over-year in single, dojo digit decline since 2011. But I think that the situation in Mexico has become much more complicated. At the state, local level. We have seen the dynamic of organized crime group proliferating at the local and regional level. And beginning to compete against each other once again after a period where really there was no time when it seemed like the single cartel based out of -- basically the lapsed cartel standing. It had a certain degree of control over matters. Now we're seeing some upstart groups rising in other parts of the country.
The increase in murders was highest in Acapulco. But Tijuana remains a second most violent city in Mexico. What he attribute that to?
The last few years running Acapulco and Tijuana have been the two most violent cities in Mexico. Measured by homicides. In both cases in Tijuana's case we are seeing a number of homicides that is half of what we saw when things were really bad in 2008 in 2009. Acapulco, however, is continuing to see increases your beer over this time. Generally speaking. I think what is particularly concerning in Acapulco is the unraveling or proliferation of organized crime groups that are again at this sub state level. Groups like the [Indiscernible - name]. Believed to be responsible in part for the massacre of 43 students back in September of September 2014. Groups like that sort of splintered off as a result of close to higher-level criminal organizations. In this case the [Indiscernible - name] that controlled organized crime in Mexico City. And other parts of southwestern Mexico.
Now data, he said that for a significant dent. During the climate decline in violence there was one major quote cartel. [Indiscernible - name]. You talk about the rise of smaller cartels cartelitos. Is drug trafficking still the major source of those smaller cartels?
For big organization like the [Indiscernible - name], they have the logistical capabilities. The connections and importantly the financial capability to bring role major drug trafficking actions. Including movement of cocaine from the Andean region into the United States. But for smaller organization's those capabilities are not as great paid that means those organizations are more likely to sustain themselves through predatory activities. Kidnapping, extortion, and even grand theft. Larceny. What we call the United States. In some ways the effort we have made over the last decade to break up major organized crime groups like the [Indiscernible - name] in some ways those have backfired or led to the unintended consequence that the kinds of crimes that we see from organized crime groups in Mexico are much more predatory, much more harmful to the average citizen.
So is it wrong to call this primarily drug violence in Mexico?
We started the series of reports in 2000 We started the series of reports in 2010. And we haven't wanted to change the name. Drug violence in Mexico. Partly because the better part of the violence that we sold a large chunk of the violence that we see in Mexico is organized crime related. Most organized crime groups still have some hand in the drug trade. They may not be able to bankroll major operations from Columbia but they may be moving heroin on a smaller scale from the Golden triangle region in northwestern Mexico to into the United States. I think that there is still -- we can still call it drug violence in some sense. As an overarching term but it is very clear that there has been a diverse decay that depressed affect diversification of violence in Mexico.
Reflate what is the mood of Mexico about this increasing violence question
The focus is last on increasing violence than the inability of the Mexican government. Particularly the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto to come up with an effective response. This is a president who came into response promising he would cut files in half and there has been a lot of public frustration with the failure to make good on that promise. Even with the proliferation of human rights violations. A series of very serious human rights violations over the last couple years.
I have been speaking with David Shirk . Co-author of the new report on "Drug Violence in Mexico" in Mexico.
Thank you David.
Thank you Maureen.