By Maureen Meyer and Clay Boggs
When he became president, Enrique Peña Nieto said that his administration would focus on reducing violence and the crimes that most affect the general population. He also said that he would work to “transform into reality the human rights enshrined in the Constitution.” A year into Peña Nieto’s administration, those promises are still unfulfilled.
So far, the results from the Peña Nieto administration’s strategy for reducing violence and combating the crimes that most affect society have been disappointing. While there has been a slight reduction in the homicide rate, violence remains rampant in parts of the country, and kidnapping and extortion are at record-high levels. As Mexico’s National Statistics and Geography Institute (Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía, INEGI) 2013 victimization survey made clear, more Mexicans feel unsafe this year than in previous years.
Security experts have pointed to a slight increase in organized crime-related homicides for October 2013 after a drop in September, and in certain states, especially Michoacán, the security situation has continued to deteriorate. There are widespread accusations of collusion between government officials, the police, and criminal groups. Self-defense groups are clashing publicly with criminal organizations, largely because the government has been unable to stop killings, kidnappings, extortion, and other abuses against the general population.
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