Organized crime is the major plague on Mexican society right now. One of the great fears of the middle class is that gang warfare might spread to the capital city. There are reasons to fear that, of course. The D.F. suffers from the same weak institutions as elsewhere ... and it provides a rich market for drugs and a lucrative source of protection money.
Moreover, homicide was up some 14% in the D.F. last year. Should we be worried?
Consejo Ciudadano went over the statistics (such as they can be trusted) and found that most of the increase appears to have been driven by interpersonal disputes. That is, there were 109 more homicides in 2015 than in 2014. The number of murders between parties that knew each other went up by 81. So interpersonal disputes made up 76% of the increase.
So that’s all right then? Not quite. One red flag is that homicides associated with robbery went down by 20 (a 14% fall) whereas those associated with brawls or firefights went up by 51 (21%). Now, 99% of all gun-related homicides used pistols, so these are not the sorts of firefights that have plagued other regions of the country. But it is worrisome.
Second, do you trust the Mexican police reports? Mexico City may be avoiding open gang warfare, but it quite likely that many of those interpersonal disputes and public brawls were related to turf wars among organized crime rings.