Mexico ended 2022 with an alarming figure. More than 109,000 missing persons. This terrifying figure does not fall within the statistics of violent murders in Mexico since, as its name indicates, these people are in the quality of “disappeared.” That is, they may or may not appear. This leads to an even worse reality: In the absence of a response from state and federal authorities, collectives of family members have to go out in search of their loved ones with the fear of losing their own lives in the attempt.
During the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Mexico has become a huge pantheon, and thousands of people gather every day to form search collectives. There are men, women, the elderly, boys, and girls who have disappeared. Most of them never reappear, and the authorities will never do much of anything to find them. The statistics prove it.
Of the 109,000+ missing persons, nearly 30,000 are women and girls. Approximately 16,000 are minors, and the majority are girls. In addition to the missing, more than 52,000 unidentified persons have been found in clandestine graves and morgues throughout the country.
The groups searching for their loved ones are constantly in danger and receive death threats and intimidation from alleged members of organized crime, but also from the authorities who are supposed to defend or help them. For example, in the medical forensic service (Semefo), thousands of bodies are overwhelmed to recover, identify, and deliver to their families.
Unfortunately, there are many examples. State authorities have denied the group Madres Buscadoras de Sonora (Searching Mothers of Sonora) protection on several occasions. Even its coordinator Cecilia Flores requested protection from the federal government in November 2022 after receiving a death threat. This protection was denied.
The question on everyone’s mind is, why refuse them support and protection? The answer is regrettable. There is a order from López Obrador’s governmenteny; to deny the levels of violence in Mexico. Any unfortunate event is blamed on previous governments, but the reality is one: The government is in denial.
The numbers of murders and missing persons in Mexico are alarming. To the extent that they can be compared to those of a “war.”
To give an idea of the magnitude, from 1988 to 2022, the “war” against crime has left Mexico with more than 630,000 violent deaths, surpassing Colombia, where there has been guerrilla warfare and a strong presence of drug trafficking.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, is estimated to have left more than 100 thousand dead, including military and civilians.
In Mexico, according to data from the Secretariat of Public Security, during the presidential terms, these have been the number of violent deaths.
– Carlos Salinas (1988 – 1994) – 76,767 murders
– Ernesto Zedillo (1994 – 2000) – 80,671 murders
– Vicente Fox (2000 – 2006) – 60,280 murders
– Felipe Calderón (2006 – 2012) – 120,563 murders
– Enrique Peña Nieto (2012 – 2018) – 156,066 murders
– Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador from 2018 – 2024 / to December 2022, approximately 145,000 murders… and counting
Among the violent crimes in Mexico are those of journalists. To the extent that, from 2000 to date, Reporters Without Borders and ARTICLE 19 have documented 157 murders of journalists in Mexico, possibly related to their work. Of these, 47 were registered during the Peña Nieto administration and 37 during the current administration of Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Today, Mexico is considered the most dangerous country to work as a journalist and has the lowest levels of press freedom.
Impunity in Mexico
According to the group Impunidad Cero, 94% of the crimes committed in Mexico are not reported, and less than 1% are solved. Of every 100 crimes committed, only 6.4 are reported. Of every 100 crimes that are reported, only 14 are solved.
This means that the probability of a crime being solved in Mexico is only 0.9%. These figures reflect the low trust reported by citizens towards public ministries and state prosecutors’ offices; only 10.3% of people say they trust these institutions.
Mexico begins 2023 with levels of violence never seen before in the country and practically the beginning of the end of López Obrador’s mandate. A man who came to the presidency offered much and could not deliver much.
His government has been characterized by the old saying: “deny everything.” His brothers were caught receiving money, he denied it. His cousin, with millionaire contracts, denied it. His son was living in a house of a high oil official with ties to PEMEX, but he denied it. People close to him have been accused of influence peddling, corruption, nepotism, or influence peddling. He denies it, the most recent being the accusation of plagiarism of a thesis of a minister of the Supreme Court of Justice, a supporter of his regime, married to a builder to whom López Obrador has given countless contracts without bidding and has been in charge of distorting, denying and defending the indefensible.
Mexico is drowning in an ocean of terror, violence, and death, and as Nero sang while Rome burned, López Obrador sings the same song every day: “It wasn’t me. It was the previous governments. It’s a plot against us.”
The reality is that the fight against violence, terror, impunity, and corruption cannot be postponed… except that it never came.
The Yucatan Times
The Yucatan Times editorial board comprises 7 people from different nationalities and backgrounds, selected due to their trajectory and objectivity.