The first six months of 2019 saw 20,599 homicides committed in Mexico, according to data from the Sistema Nacional de Seguridad Pública (SNSP).
That is 22 per every 100,000 inhabitants – a six percent increase from 2018, which itself was a record year for murders.
The intentional homicide rate (2016 figures) in the United States is five per 100,000 inhabitants. In Canada it is two, United Kingdom one and Japan zero (rounded numbers).
The figure is more than double the average of 9.75 recorded during the administration of President Felipe Calderon, which is considered the most violent period in the war against the cartels.
Around 80 percent of the murders are committed the gun, most of them smuggled in from the United States, specialists say. Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard says he has reached an agreement with his U.S. counterpart Mike Pompeo to start an operation to limit the flow of weapons to Mexico. Most disturbing, says Ebrard, is the increase in automatic weapons used in crime – a 120 percent increase compared with 2018.
The National Statistics Institute (Inegi) data reveals that 74.6 percent of Mexicans living in cities feel unsafe in their homes.