President Donald Trump tweeted about Mexico’s murder rate – using the ‘record’ statistic to call attention to his plan for ‘Maximum’ border security.
He called attention to the grim news, and gave an online shout-out to his favorite network Fox News, online a day after saying he had ‘no problem’ shutting down the government to get a border wall and other tough immigration policies he favors.
‘One of the reasons we need Great Border Security is that Mexico’s murder rate in 2017 increased by 27% to 31,174 people killed, a record!’ Trump tweeted.
‘The Democrats want Open Borders,’ Trump claimed, although Democrats resisting his plans support border security measures other than the wall Trump wants to build on the southern border.
President Donald Trump tweeted about Mexico’s murder rate – using the ‘record’ statistic to call attention to his plan for ‘Maximum’ border security
‘I want Maximum Border Security and respect for ICE and our great Law Enforcement Professionals! @FoxNews,’ Trump wrote, picking up on the call for some Democrats to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Trump’s statement came after the number of homicides in Mexico last year was revealed to be higher than originally thought, with national statistics institute INEGI reporting Monday that there were 31,174 slayings in 2017 – the figure the president highlighted.
It also came after he said at a Monday press conference: ‘I would have no problem doing a shutdown,’
The president noted that the Mexican murder rate hit ‘a record!’
Speaking at an event with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Trump said: ‘It’s time we had proper border security. We’re the laughingstock of the world.’
The adjusted Mexican crime rate is the most since comparable records began being kept in 1997, including the peak year of Mexico’s drug war in 2011.
The Interior Ministry previously reported 29,168 homicides for 2017.
FILE – In this July 22, 2018 file photo, forensics place numbers by evidence near the body of a woman who was found dead between two cars parked outside a restaurant in Acapulco, Mexico. The number of homicides in Mexico in 2017 was higher than originally thought, according to the National statistics institute INEGI, which reports there were 31,174 slayings, not 29,168 reported by the Interior Ministry. INEGI says the homicide rate in 2017 broke down to 25 per 100,000 inhabitants. (AP Photo/Bernandino Hernandez, File)
Data from the statistics institute is seen as more thorough, since INEGI visits morgues and public registries to collect information. The Interior Ministry counts homicide investigations that could involve multiple victims, thus potentially underrepresenting killings.
INEGI said the homicide rate last year broke down to 25 per 100,000 inhabitants – near the levels of Brazil and Colombia at 27 per 100,000. Mexico’s rate was 20 per 100,000 people in 2016.
Trump said he was ready for a government shutdown at a press conference with Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte of Italy
Honduras and El Salvador – among the deadliest countries in the world – have homicide rates of around 60 per 100,000. Some U.S. cities, like Chicago, Detroit and New Orleans, also top Mexico’s per-capita homicide rate.
But some parts of Mexico are singularly violent.
Mexico’s deadliest state is Colima, on the Pacific coast, where killings rose 38 percent last year to a homicide rate of 113 per 100,000. The rate in Baja California, home to the border city Tijuana, nearly doubled as the Jalisco New Generation and Sinaloa cartels clashed over drug trafficking routes.
‘The country is in a public security crisis,’ said Alejandro Schtulmann, president of Mexico City-based political risk firm EMPRA.
U.S. border officials detain an undocumented immigrant caught near the U.S.-Mexico border on March 13, 2017 in Roma, Texas
Trump gave a shout-out to Fox News as he pointed out Mexico’s murder rate
Guerrero Community Police members march in Tlacotepec, Heliodoro Castillo municipality, Guerrero state, Mexico, on March 24, 2018. In the mountains of Guerrero, despite continuous operations of the Mexican Army to eradicate illegal plantations, the cultivation of poppy and the production of opium gum are growing
U.S. Border Patrol agents with a K-9 unit detain undocumented immigrants after they illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border on October 18, 2016 in McAllen, Texas
A Guerrero Community Police member patrols at an illegal poppy field, in Heliodoro Castillo, Guerrero state, Mexico, on March 25, 2018
In addition to fights between criminal groups for territory in states such as Baja California and Quintana Roo, fuel theft has turned more violent and extortion cases are on the rise.
Central Mexican states such as Guanajuato and Puebla, known for their agricultural output and growing manufacturing base, have seen homicide rates spike in recent years because of fuel theft from pipelines operated by the national oil company, Petroleos Mexicanos.
‘The problem now is not just the murder rate,’ said Schtulmann. ‘More citizens are being affected by crime than ever before in Mexican history.’
Schtulmann pointed to a recent wave of property crimes, unprecedented killings of politicians in this year’s elections and attempts to extort businesses in fancy neighborhoods like Polanco in the Mexican capital as indications that criminal activity is encroaching on more territory and affecting more segments of the population.
President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who takes office Dec. 1, has said he will tackle crime by creating educational and work opportunities for disenchanted youth.
Schtulmann finds Lopez Obrador’s plans a bit vague, saying Mexico more than anything needs to improve state security forces since thinly stretched federal resources often can’t reach all the trouble spots.
‘We are talking about long-term efforts. This is not going to go away from one day to another,’ Schtulmann said. ‘If the opportunity is there, and the impunity is there, the criminals will keep committing crimes.’
INEGI said it surveyed 2,127 civil registries, 688 public ministries and 145 forensic medical services to collect the 2017 data. Firearms were the leading cause of homicide deaths in 2017, with 20,049 gunshot victims.