MEXICO CITY – The real number of homicides in Mexico could double the official figures, President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s closest collaborator said on Wednesday.
“Officially there are 25 homicides per 100,000 people. But I don’t think this figure is right for several reasons. Many homicides are not reported and the real figure could be as much as two times what the current government acknowledges,” former Supreme Court Chief Justice Olga Sanchez Cordero said at a forum sponsored by Banorte.
Lopez Obrador, who will take office Dec. 1, has designated Sanchez Cordero as his choice to fill the powerful post of government secretary.
According to Mexico’s INEGI statistics agency, 31,174 homicides were registered in 2017.
This represents a homicide rate of 25 per 100,000 people, which is the highest in a decade.
According to a report by federal authorities, 2,599 murders were registered in July, the highest figure since 1997.
Regarding Lopez Obrador’s approach to public safety, Sanchez Cordero said that the next administration plans to “slowly withdraw” armed forces from the street as law enforcement agencies become capable of taking responsibility for public safety.
“Unfortunately, it is more likely that armed forces will carry out human rights violations. This is one of the major issues that we will address in the Government Secretariat. Our priority will be to defend human rights,” she said.
Sanchez Cordero said that Lopez Obrador will seek changes to the “exceedingly rigid” international anti-drug conventions in order to allow for experiments in decriminalization.
She also addressed the controversy over the president-elect’s proposal to grant amnesty to criminals, stressing that the benefit will only be available to people convicted of non-violent drug offenses.