Homicides increased 3.9% in July compared to June, according to official data that also shows that Mexico is on track to record its most violent year on record.
There were 2,980 homicide victims last month, according to the National Public Security System, an increase of 113 compared to June.
There were 20,494 murder victims in the first seven months of the year, up 1.6% from the same period of 2019, which was the most violent year since national records were first kept in 1997.
Presenting the July data at Thursday’s presidential press conference, Security Minister Alfonso Durazo said that homicide numbers are on the wane in 22 states.
Although homicides are up compared to the first seven months of last year, the minister claimed that the government has managed to establish a “containment line” against the crime.
Durazo said that July was a “hectic” month in terms of violence due to the capture of José Antonio Yépez Ortiz, leader of the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel (CSRL), a Guanajuato-based crime gang. However, Yépez, better known as “El Marro,” was in fact taken into custody on August 2.
Guanajuato, where the CSRL is engaged in a vicious turf war with the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, was the most violent state in the country in July with more than 400 homicides but Durazo noted that murders have decreased since the crime leader’s arrest.
“We can’t sing victory but the incidence of … homicides in Guanajuato is fortunately on the wane today … and we hope to consolidate this trend,” he said.
Durango and Querétaro recorded the biggest increases in homicides between June and July, the newspaper Milenio reported.
There were 22 homicide victims in the former state last month, a 214% increase compared to June when seven people were murdered. In Querétaro, homicide victims increased 100% in July to 16 from eight the previous month.
Aguascalientes recorded a 50% increase between June and July, with numbers increasing from eight to 12, while murders spiked 53% in Quintana Roo from 34 to 52.
In Baja California Sur, Mexico’s second least violent state this year, homicide victims increased 80% to nine in July from five in June.
During the first seven months of the year, Guanajuato was the most violent state in the country with a total of 2,695 homicide victims. The figure accounts for 13.1% of all homicides in Mexico so far this year, meaning that one of every eight murders was committed in the Bajío region state.
México state ranked second with 1,678 homicide victims.
Four other states have recorded more than 1,000 murders this year. They are, in order, Chihuahua, Baja California, Jalisco and Michoacán.
At the other end of the scale, seven states have recorded fewer than 100 homicides this year. They are Yucatán with 28; Baja California Sur, 36; Campeche, 44; Aguascalientes, 59; Tlaxcala, 68; Durango, 97; and Nayarit, 98.
In per capita terms, Colima was the most violent state between January and July with 51.2 homicide victims per 100,000 residents.
Along with homicides, extortion, drug dealing and robberies increased in July compared to June while there was no change in the incidence of kidnapping, with 62 cases in both months.
Femicides – the killing of women and girls on account of their gender – declined 27% from 101 in June to 74 in July.