Updated 03:53 PM EDT, Sat, Oct 19, 2019

Preliminary Data Reveals Mexico's Murder Rate Rose by 8.7% in 2015: President Nieto's Efforts to Contain Crime a Failure?

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Rampant incidents of violence in Mexico increased by almost 8.7 percent last year. This is the first increase in hoimicide incidents as Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto struggles to establish peace and order in the country, just as he promised during his campaign election.

In a report with Newsweek, while the homicide rate has significantly increased, other crimes like kidnapping and extortion have fallen. According to government data obtained last Wednesday, this is probably due to Mexican drug gangs who have shifted towards more brutal means with their dealings.

Though President Nieto's efforts have been valiant since his term in office, many of Nieto's detractors have come to doubt the progress of security in Mexico. This is especially true as the Mexican government celebrates the recapture of notorious drug lord, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.

The situation in Mexico has become so bad that former Mexican intelligence official Alejandro Hope said that "2015 was not a good year," per Huffington Post. The former chief added that he fears that the rate of homicides under Nieto's term will be far worse than it was during Felipe Calderon's term in office.

According to the Huffington Post report, the homicide rate surged in the spring of last year, with its peak in August at 1,709. While the number of killings has been known to drop over the past few months, the figures remain significantly higher than when the year began.

Civilians in Mexico continue to fear for their lives, as they believe that Nieto and the government are doing very little to contain these crimes. Recently, the U.S. State Department reissued a travel warning to Mexico, telling American citizens to avoid travelling to the country by land, especially at night. It was reported that an estimated 103 U.S. citizens were killed in Mexico last year.

Human rights activists also complained that the Mexican government hasn't made any significant efforts in locating those who have disappeared. Human rights groups also speculate that the government has a hand in the incidents where people go missing.

Witnesses say that many of those who have gone missing were last seen being arrested by the Mexican police. Unfortunately, since the country lacks a detailed register of arrests, authorities deny any involvement, and wash their hands clean of the matter.

During his election campaign in 2012, Nieto vowed to emphasize economic reform in the country. He claimed to focus on eliminating Mexico's problems with organized crime, where more than 100,000 people have been killed over the last ten years.

Unfortunately, Pena Nieto's efforts seem to have been in vain. Currently, Nieto and his government are facing a scandal involving the disappearances of 43 student activists. "El Chapo's" highly publicized escape from Mexico's maximum security prison was also seen as an "embarrassment" to the country.

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