Extortion: complaints go down, crime persists

36 thousand homes in the capital admitted having suffered extortion, but this year, only 52 investigative folders exist for this crime in PGJE

By The Sax

According to official figures, extortion is one of the crimes that have decreased in 2018, however, data from the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi) contradict this statement.
While the Attorney General’s Office of the State reports only 52 investigative files opened for alleged extortion, in the Inegi numbers, in 11.9 percent of the San Luis Potosí households there is at least one victim of extortion.

According to the National Survey of Urban Public Security (ENSU) of june 2018, in its section Household victims or with any member over 18 years victim by city of interest and type of crime, in the January-June 2018 semester, only in San Luis Potosí capital, 36 thousand 224 homes declared to have suffered extortion to any of its members. This amount, as stated above, is equivalent to 11.9 percent of households in the capital (According to the most recent Inegi intercensal survey, in the city there are 303,449 households in total).

Contrary to this reality, complaints about the crime of extortion have diminished considerably in the January-June semester. According to the figures of Criminal Incidence of the Executive Secretariat of the National System of Public Security, in the first six months of the year, only 52 complaints have been filed, while in the same period of 2017, 87 were registered. This represents a decrease of 40.22 per one hundred in the complaints.

The 52 reports of extortion consigned by the criminal statistics of the SESNSP, are distributed in 17 municipalities of the four regions of the state, most of the complaints are concentrated, as is to be expected, in the Metropolitan Area of ​​San Luis Potosí (20) and Soledad (4), which together make up 46.15 percent of the complaints.

However, there are other localities that stand out for the number of lawsuits filed with the authorities for this crime: the huasteco municipality of Tamuín is in second place with eight complaints; it is followed by Matehuala in the San Luis Potosí’s Altiplano, with six denunciations; then comes Soledad, in fourth place with four complaints, and Tamazunchale in fifth with two; in the rest of the municipalities: Cerro de San Pedro Rioverde, Fernández City, San Ciro; Ciudad Valles, Tancanhuitz, San Martín Chalchicuautla, Santo Domingo, Venado, Villa de la Paz, Villa de Reyes and Villa Hidalgo, only one complaint has been filed.

From the above it is inferred that 61.5 percent of the complaints are concentrated in five municipalities, while the remaining 39.5 percent are disseminated in 12 more municipalities, and if the black figure is taken into account (crimes that happen but that the victims do not report), we can assume that the crime of extortion extends throughout the state territory, even in the smaller municipalities (Venado, Villa de la Paz), only that due to the distrust of the population towards the police authorities, prosecution and the delivery of justice, there is no denunciation.
If in San Luis Potosí, in six months, more than 36 thousand homes declare to have been victims of extortion; 20 formal complaints represent a less than negligible amount: the number of complaints amounts to just 0.05 percent of the extortions committed.

Last May, the spokesperson of the Public Security Secretariat of the State (SSPE) Armando Oviedo Ábrego, presumed that “as a result of the strengthening of strategies and joint work between the institutions responsible for security and law enforcement”, in April it decreased the crime of extortion.

At the beginning of June, in statements to another media, Oviedo Ábrego again boasted that the number of extortion complaints had decreased. The spokesman gave figures: in 2013, 119 reported cases; in 2014, 84 cases; in 2015, 141 cases; in 2016, 218, the highest peak; in 2017, he stressed, the figure fell 151, and to confirm the downward trend, in the four-month period January-April of 2018, only 33 complaints, a number clearly lower than the 62 cases reported in the same period of the previous year.

However, in July, the Inegi, for the first time, in its quarterly March-June edition of the ENSU, “offers timely information on victimization in the homes of the main cities and urban areas of the country”, and for that matter of San Luis Potosí, reports at least 36 thousand 224 victims of extortion, an exorbitant figure, even considering that the degree of precision of this figure is considered by the Inegi as “Moderate”, with a coefficient of variation between 15 and 30 %.

That is, taking the figure down, if 30 percent of the households surveyed had not been victims of extortion, we would still have 25 thousand 357 citizens who would have been victims of this crime.

In the June 2018 edition of the ENSU, the Inegi explains that “As of this quarter (March-June), with the objective of providing timely information on victimization, we seek to know the proportion of households in zones every six months. urban victims or with members over 18 years of age victim of the crimes of robbery and / or extortion”.

The Ministry of Public Security of San Luis Potosí, created the XTOR application, which allows block calls extortionists automatically, through a system that recognizes suspicious phones, in addition to activating a notification on the device, indicating that they treated of communicating a suspicious number, however, to date, it is unknown how many citizens have downloaded such an application on their cell phones.

Also read: 36% of SLP households have been victims of crime

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