Posted on Mon 26 November 2012

Mexico’s most violent cities in 2011

Note the log scale and that data are incomplete
The INEGI finally released homicide data at the municipality level, analyzing it by state turned out very similar results to the preliminary data released back in August, so I won’t repeat the state level charts I did back then, instead I will focus on the trends in violence at the metro area or big municipality level since both Tijuana and Ciudad Juárez had big declines in homicides though they are still very violent and Monterrey, Acapulco and Veracruz saw big increases.

As I previously wrote there have been a lot deaths of unknown intent with characteristics similar to homicides since the drug war started, and 2011 was no exception: Coahuila went from registering 2 deaths of unknown intent in 2009 to 216 in 2011, Veracruz went from 197 to 747, Chiapas went from 2 to 614, Tamaulipas had 195 in 2011, and Mexico as a whole went from registering 2,376 deaths of unknown intent in 2007 to 5,630 in 2011.

We can also compare the number of homicides to the number of deaths in the recently cancelled drug war-related homicide database (only including the first 9 moths of 2011) to find out which states had more drug war deaths than total homicides, which in theory should be impossible

State Year Drug War-
Related Homicides
Coahuila 2011 572 478
Sinaloa 2007 414 388
Sinaloa 2008 1084 871
Tamaulipas 2010 1209 1011
Tamaulipas 2011 1108 830

One can also look at the data disaggregated by metro area or municipality (only showing those cities where drug war-related homicides exceeded all homicides by at least 15)

City Year Drug War-
Related Homicides
Culiacán-Navolato 2008 654 460
Culiacán-Navolato 2007 271 131
San Fernando, Tamps 2011 292 159
La Laguna 2011 633 509
Veracruz 2011 261 164
Valle Hermoso, Tamps 2011 95 14
Reynosa 2010 154 92
Miguel Alemán, Tamps 2010 110 58
Mier, Tamps 2010 93 42
Guerrero, Tamps 2010 45 0
San Fernando, Tamps 2010 169 130
Taxco de Alarcón, Gro 2010 75 38
La Laguna 2010 704 673
Mier, Tamps 2011 50 19
Morelia 2011 104 78
Ahumada, Chih 2009 27 4
Guerrero, Tamps 2011 35 12
Gustavo Díaz Ordaz, Tamps 2010 25 7
Jiménez, Chih 2011 47 30
Cosalá, Sin 2011 25 8
Salvador Alvarado, Sin 2008 47 31
Sáric, Son 2010 30 14
Camargo, Tamps 2010 30 15
*Saric, Sonora has been crossed out because the deaths were registered in Tubutama

With so many missing deaths I’ve opted to watermark the plots with a text that says ‘incomplete data’ since I could probably get better estimates by classifying the deaths of unknown intent, but I need access to the raw data which is not available yet. In the plot at the top of the blog Tuxtla is the safest city, but with 112 deaths of unknown intent and only 10 homicides this is extremely likely to be wrong.

By looking at the metro area homicide numbers you can miss diverging municipality level trends, so for La Laguna and Mexico City I’ve plotted the data grouped by state.
The model is loess
Since inside a metro area people travel all around the city it is more important to focus on the trend rather than the levels. In Mexico City the increase in homicides has been much more marked in the State of Mexico than in the Federal District, mostly due to trends in Ecatepec and Neza.

In La Laguna violence in the part of the city situated in Coahuila (mainly Torreón) increased while violence in the Durango part decreased (mainly Gomez Palacio)
The model is loes
Cities that saw big decreases in violence:
Cities that saw increases in violence:
Cities where the homicide rate didn’t vary much:
And the obligatory map:

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Disclaimer: This website is not affiliated with any of the organizations or institutions to which Diego Valle-Jones belongs. All opinions are my own.

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