The PJ Tatler

Mexican military responsible for increased violence?

Remember when U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder proclaimed that a new gun ban would help Mexico?

“Well…there are just a few gun-related changes that we would like to make, and among them would be to reinstitute the ban on the sale of assault weapons. I think that will have a positive impact in Mexico, at a minimum.”

Now, the UN wants Mexico’s military to stop fighting the drug cartels, because human rights groups reported a “spike in abuse claims” and “disappearance cases that can no longer only be attributed to organized crime.”

“Abuse claims against the National Defense Ministry hit about 1,500 last year, up from fewer than 200 claims in 2006, according to Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission.” Click to enlarge.

The Clinton gun ban ended in 2004. Between 2004 and 2007, Mexico’s murder rate declined 6.7%, on top of a 32.3% decrease between 1997 and 2004. Mexican President Calderon “launched an offensive against the drug gangs shortly after taking office in late 2006.” Homicide rates began climbing in 2008.

(Rates calculated from government crime data and IMF population estimates.)

The green line indicates the trend line through 2007, which descends more sharply than the trend through 2009. Until Calderon’s declaration of war, Mexico’s murder rate was in its steepest decline.

Mexico’s domestic war, not Clinton’s “assault weapons” ban, is far more likely the cause of increased violence.