Despite Improvements, Violence Ongoing In Mexican Border States
December 10, 2013
Mónica Ortiz Uribe
A drawing by a boy in Ciudad Juárez depicting violence in his neighborhood.

Despite progress in cities like Juárez and Tijuana, Mexican border states continue to be among the most violent in the country.

Mileno newspaper writes about a report issued by Mexico's Secretary of Health, which states that six of Mexico's 32 states account for 52 percent of the country's homicides. Included among those states are Chihuahua, Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas, all of which border Texas. 

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto reached his one year anniversary in office this month. Since the beginning of his administration, Peña Nieto has said he would shift focus away from "drugs and security concerns" to strengthening the economy, particularly trade  with his neighbors to the north.

In 2012 Mexico's murder rate dropped slightly from the previous year. The Associated Press reports that, in 2012, Mexico's homicide rate was 22 per 100,000. In 2011 that rate was 24 per 100,000.  

However an article in the Tijuana weekly ZETA, cited by the well-respected Mexican news magazine Proceso, claims the Mexican government is under-reporting homicides. Citing its own investigation and state by state statistics kept by non-governmental organizations, ZETA claims the Peña Nieto administration under reported murders by nearly 2,000 people.

But crime statistics in Mexico can vary depending on their classification and the government agency reporting them.

Whether or not security is improving, extreme violence continues to have a presence in Mexico. In November, eight relatives, including three children, were stabbed to death inside their home in Ciudad Juárez. Authorities have arrested two suspects in the case and have said the crime is tied to an unpaid debt, not organized crime.