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Friday, Dec. 6, 2013

Zeta reports 19,016 violent deaths during first 11 months of Peña Nieto's term; front-page headline says "Peña, Worse Than Calderón"

Government, other data indicate that organized-crime violence will be down this year

       Zeta cover Dec 6 2013The Tijuana weekly newspaper Zeta reported Friday that its count shows 19,069 executions during the first 11 months of President Enrique Peña Nieto's term. It said this was worse than during the last year of President Felipe Calderón's term; its front-page headline said "Peña, Peor Que Calderón" (Peña, Worse than Calderón." Zeta said that during the same period the preceding year (Dec. 1, 2011-Oct. 31, 2012), there were 18,161 "executions," compared with 19,016 between Dec. 1, 2012 (when Peña Nieto took office), and Oct. 31, 2013. The government has come up with a figure of 17,068 for Peña Nieto's first 11 months.

     Zeta's list ranked Acapulco as having the most violent deaths with 835, the Federal District of Mexico City second at 708, Tijuana third at 502, Culiacán fourht at 410 and Ciudad Juárez — often the leader during Calderón's term — fifth at 363. Tijuana's murders have risen this year because of territorial conflicts between local drug dealers.

      Some have accused the Peña Nieto administration as having not been totally forthcoming on death figures in its attempt to change Mexico's narrative from being a country suffering major crime violence to one of it being an up-and-coming nation with bright economic prospects. Still, some analysts say it appears that organized-crime violence — a subset of violent deaths, albeit a quite large one — will actually wind up being down this year.

       Zeta's death toll figures often were higher than government figures and data compiled by organizations such as Reforma newspaper and the University of San Diego's Justice in Mexico project.

       Zeta said its data also showed that there more kidnappings under the first 11 months of Peña Nieto (1,546) than under the same 11-month period the year before under Calderón (1,196).