Mexico City's government is under attack by critics since a left-leaning administration took over in 2018, with critics claiming that violence has "spun out of control." In response, the city now claims that the previous administration "extensively under-reported crime" and, as a result, the crime rate appears to have shot up in 2019, but it has really fallen.
Tens of thousands of criminal files from 2018 were reviewed and show that the city's homicides have not risen by a third this year, as previously reported. Instead the number is only up about 12%, according to Ernestina Godoy, Mexico City’s chief prosecutor. In addition, violent crimes as a whole have dropped by 8% this year, she said.
The new figures are slated to be released as part of Federal data on and will certainly raise questions about the trustworthiness of crime statistics in Mexico. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador won his election on promises of curbing crime, corruption and violence. Mexico City's mayor, Claudia Sheinbaum, is a close ally of his.
Godoy said: “The registry was distorted. In cases of rape they were classified as sexual harassment or abuse, or just injuries.”
More than 24,000 of 214,000 reviewed files on criminal cases were said to be doctored. Rapes in the prior year were actually double the number reported by former mayor Miguel Angel Mancera's administration. Mancera had no comment.
Data shows that murders in Mexico's capital city were up 36% from January to May versus the year prior. Godoy says homicides will formally now show a rise of about 12%.
Godoy concluded: "That’s still far too many. This is not being done to justify our government. We won’t deny the situation we are in."