Killings in Mexico climbed to new highs in 2016, and the violent rhythm may only intensify

Business InsiderMexico recorded the deadliest year of President Enrique Peña Nieto’s four-year-old sexenio, or six-year term, in 2016.

The country saw a 22% increase in homicide cases, rising from 17,034 in 2015 to 20,789 in 2016.

Individual homicide cases can contain more than one victim, and data released by the government showed that the number of homicide victims jumped 22.8%, from 18,673 in 2015 to 22,932 last year.

Government data released by the interior ministry each year since 1997 indicates that Peña Nieto’s first four years have had 71,808 homicide cases opened, putting his term on pace to exceed those of his two predecessors.

Vicente Fox saw 74,389 homicide cases opened during his term from 2001 to 2006, while Felipe Calderon, who deployed troops around Mexico in the move that is credited with kicking off Mexico’s cartel wars, recorded 104,794 homicide cases during his term from 2007 to 2012.

Recent reports by a Mexican nonprofit agency suggest that Mexican state governments, possibly at the direction of the federal government, have been manipulating the number of high- and low-level crimes they report. Such legerdemain may mean that the true number of violent deaths in Mexico is much higher. …

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During the last several decades, the United States has invested billions of dollars in trying to help the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean deliver better lives for their citizens. This has meant helping them increase internal security by combating the illicit growing and trafficking in narcotics and the activities of terrorist groups, as well as helping them to shore up their democratic and free market institutions.

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