Only 5% of gang-related killings are investigated by federal authorities

According to the Justice Ministry (PGR), federal prosecutors have only opened 1,210 preliminary homicide investigations from December 2006 through March 2010, during which period the government’s own figures show that gang-related killings totaled 22,743.  The figures on investigations were provided through a transparency law request by El Universal.  All such killings would in theory be subject to federal jurisdiction, although many of them may be under investigation by state authorities. No figures were provided on state-level investigations. Security specialist Jorge Chabat of CIDE said, “The reduced number of investigations for aggravated homicides being investigated by the PGR is a reflection of the incapacity of the institutions to investigate these crimes, which have also increased exponentially in recent years, and have overwhelmed them.” (Universal 6/21)

In response the PGR issued a statement emphasizing that most killings were investigated by local authorities, and that federal investigations were opened when diplomats or members of the security forces were involved, or where there was such notoriety that the federal authorities exercised their rights to jurisdiction.  The statement added,

The PGR reiterates that the fight against organized crime is a systematic action of the Mexican State, directed at reducing a problem of public safety that has become a problem of national security. For this reason, all the capacities of the government are being employed and every [level of government]  has a function to fulfil, in accordance with the attributes established by Law and under the criteria of close coordination established by the Constitution. (PGR 6/21)

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