Preliminary homicide data for 2011

on Aug 20, 2012
The Mexican government through the INEGI just released preliminary homicide data for 2011. I feel bound to remind my readers that the government also released preliminary data in 2010, with the state of Chihuahua missing over a thousand murders, so the data should be interpreted as strictly preliminary.

According to the INEGI the homicide rate was 24 and the total number of homicides in 2011 was 27,199.

Homicides actually went down in many of the most violent states in 2010. Chihuahua, Sinaloa, Baja California and Sonora all registered a drop in homicides in 2011, though they still are way above their longtime trendlines. In Chihuahua and Baja California it's been claimed that part of the reason for the drop in homicides is the fact that the Sinaloa Cartel won control of the plaza (the drug smuggling routes and the political and law enforcement arrangements through which drug traffickers work). Since the Mexican government seems to be going after the Zetas rather than Sinaloa there seems to be one hell of an incentive to invade other cartel's plazas.


Keep in mind that Tamaulipas had lots of deaths of unknown intent in 2010 and it is possible the same thing happened in 2011.
The rise in homicides in Michoacán and Guerrero used to justify the drug war now seem quaint and barely visible
Veracruz in spite of all the bad press Veracruz doesn't seem to be all that violent relative to other regions of Mexico, though I wonder how it breaks down at the municipality level? Without access to the mortality database I have no idea. According to the drug-war related homicide database the Veracruz metro area is extremely violent.
The rate of increase has been higher for the State of Mexico than the Federal District, it would be interesting to break it down for the Mexico City metro area.
The data is not without problems, for example in Chiapas the vital statistics system doesn't seem to be very good, with falls in both homicides and transportation accidents coinciding with the New Year.

The number of homicides in the the SNSP database was greater than the number of homicides according to the INEGI in San Luis Potosí . This is very likely due to the high number of deaths of unknown intent, but I need access to the 2011 mortality database to be certain.

Deaths of unknown intent and by homicide in San Luis Potosí
ANIODEF Homicide Unknown

2004 135 36

2005 131 66

2006 160 68

2007 145 3

2008 200 11

2009 209 17

2010 357 99

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Thank you for your interesting and insightful comments. I truly look forward to reading them.