Record-breaking ‘Official’ Mexican Crime Stats Ignore Cartel Violence

Reynosa Gunbattle
Youtube screenshot
Mexico City

The cartel violence in Mexico appears to have pushed “official” crime statistics to their highest levels in decades. Statistics indicate Mexico is undergoing one of the deadliest seasons recent history–yet they only account for crimes acknowledged by Mexican authorities and overlook the thousands incinerated or “disappeared” by drug cartels.

A new report by Mexico’s National Public Security System (SESNSP) reports that from January to May 2017, state officials recorded more than 18,880 homicides, 586 kidnappings, and 2,480 cases of extortion. The new statistics mark May as the deadliest month in recent history with 2,186 official murders, resulting in 3,998 victims. The statistics only date back to the late 1990s, but provide a glimpse into how violence appears to be surpassing all previously recorded years.

The statistics help dispel the myth of “No Pasa Nada”, or “nothing bad is happening” that is routinely pushed by Mexican officials at all levels. However, the statistics do not paint a complete picture of the raging cartel violence that continues to take hold throughout Mexican border cities and key cartel trafficking areas. As Breitbart Texas reported, in Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, Veracruz, and others, many of the crimes are not reported since residents do not trust the Mexican law enforcement due to a long history of corruption. 

The statistics compiled by the SESNSP only take into account crimes acknowledged by attorneys general offices in the 32 states. The numbers, however, do not take into account the victims of cartel kidnapping and murder. The statistics also do not include the murders of cartel gunmen whose bodies are collected by allies or rivals.

Breitbart Texas reported on how gunmen with Mexico’s Gulf Cartel collect the bodies of their fallen as the organization continues a fierce battle for control of Reynosa. They have once again resorted to using 55-gallon drums filled with fuel, tires, and other combustible material to incinerate bodies.

In February 2016, Breitbart Texas published the results of a three -month investigation into how Los Zetas members were able to kidnap, murder, and incinerate hundreds of victims in the northern region of Coahuila. Those victims have not been counted in any of the crime statistics submitted by that state.

Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and Stephen K. Bannon.  You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.

Brandon Darby is managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and Stephen K. Bannon. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at

Tony Aranda contributed to this report.