Is Rosa Icela trying to manipulate data to discredit the opposition?

On October 20, during the press conference of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the Secretary of Security and Citizen Protection, Rosa Icela Rodríguez, said, among other things, this:

“As for intentional homicide, from January to September 2021 with respect to the previous year, it decreased 3.4% (…) One of the indicators that are kept daily is the one that has to do with intentional homicide by state. We continue in six states the concentration of 50% of victims of this crime, these states are Guanajuato, Baja California, Michoacán, State of Mexico, Chihuahua and Jalisco ”.

The numbers the official referred to are for the total number of murders, which during the first nine months of the year were 21,495. And, also according to her, 2,149 or 10% were committed in Guanajuato; 2,087 or 9.7% in Baja California; 1,633 or 7.6% in Michoacán; 1,719 or 8% in the State of Mexico; 1,583 or 7.4% in Chihuahua; and 1,413 or 6.6% in Jalisco.

In sum, for those six states: 10,584 or 49.2% of the national total.

Interestingly, Rosa Icela omitted to mention Sonora, where more than 1,000 murders were also committed in the same period, 1,207 to be precise, or 5.6% of the national total.

Now, spreading only the absolute numbers, as she did, is not presenting a complete picture of reality. What he should have presented are the malicious homicide rates per 100,000 inhabitants, because these are more useful than the absolute numbers to compare what happens in different cities, municipalities, states and countries.

If we compare intentional homicide rates, we will have that the seven states that registered the highest rates during the first nine months of the year are: Baja California (56.56), Zacatecas (50.6), Colima (45.91), Chihuahua (41.26), Sonora (38.80 ), Morelos (36.13), Guanajuato (34.22).

According to this measurement, three of the six states mentioned by Secretary Rodríguez no longer appear: Jalisco, Mexico and Michoacán, whose homicide rates are 16.64, 9.77 and 33.62, respectively, but Colima, Morelos, Sonora and Zacatecas do.

Here it is convenient to remember that the World Health Organization has stated that there is an epidemic of homicides when the rate is 10 or more.

Thus, due to their low murder rates, only 13 of the 32 entities have escaped the deadly epidemic and they are: Aguascalientes (3.58), Baja California Sur (4.75), Campeche (7.18), Coahuila (3.31), Chiapas (5.82 ), CDMX (7.90), Durango (5.36), Mexico (9.77), Puebla (8.85), Querétaro (6.08), Tlaxcala (6.38), Veracruz (9.75) and Yucatán (1.62).

I have no doubt that Rosa Icela somehow seeks to discredit the governments of the states that she mentioned on October 20. Mexico is governed by a PRI, Jalisco by an Emecista, Guanajuato and Chihuahua by PAN. Until a few weeks ago, Michoacán was governed by a PRD while in Baja California a Morenista has been in power since November 2019 and perhaps they want to create the impression that he did not have time to fix the disaster left by decades of PAN governments.

Did the secretary try to manipulate the data of something as painful as homicides in order to discredit the opposition?

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Eduardo Ruiz-Healy

Journalist and producer

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Opinioner, columnist, lecturer, media trainer, 35 years of experience in the media, micro-entrepreneur.

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