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Looking at Wikipedia, I see that during 2017, Los Cabos had the highest intentional homicide rate in the world. But in 2018, they appear to have dropped out of the top 50 entirely, which would imply that the homicide rate dropped by at least 66%. This is in contrast to other top cities such as Caracas, Acapulco, Ciudad Victoria, and St. Louis, which only shifted a little.

What policies did the government institute to accomplish this change? Or is an artifact of some trickery like rezoning or not reporting crime data? Or is it due to a non-governmental factor?

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According to José Antonio Ortega, president of the Citizens’ Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice, the main reason was that rival drug gangs had fought a turf war in the city, and the drop in violence was because there was a clear winner.

Ortega said that homicide rates had fallen sharply in both La Paz and Los Cabos but not due to any public security policy implemented by authorities but rather because the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) has driven its rivals out of the area.

Mexico New Daily report

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What policies did the government institute to accomplish this change? Or is an artifact of some trickery like rezoning or not reporting crime data? Or is it due to a non-governmental factor?

Security cameras, stepped-up police presence, enhanced communications, rapid response teams, etc. implemented by the government. No apparent trickery. Driven by the loss of tourism, an important part of Mexico's economy.

In Mexico, the murders keep coming, and so do the tourists, May 24, 2018.

"We've learned from other examples that time is of the essence," said Rodrigo Esponda, managing director of the Los Cabos Tourism Board. "Security is a round-the-clock job. We keep working together — the public and private sector — updating ideas, projects and working nonstop to get it right."

In 2017, Los Cabos had a homicide rate of 110 murders per 100,000 people. Since then, the region has implemented a five-point, $50 million emergency plan to overhaul its security. New surveillance cameras were installed, there's increased communication with businesses that cater to tourism and many standard U.S. safety protocols, like rapid response security teams, have been adopted.

So far, the results have been dramatic, Esponda said. Crime this year is down by 90 percent. The number of tourists is up by 8.6 percent, compared to the same period last year.

Mexico: homicides up 16% in 2018, breaking own records for violence, Mon 23 Jul 2018.

But in Baja California Sur, home to the resorts of La Paz and Los Cabos, a stepped-up police presence apparently helped reduce killings. The 125 homicides in the state, which sits to the south of Baja California, were less than half the number registered in the first six months of 2017 and a quarter the number in the latter half of 2017. Extra police and troops were sent in after warring drug gangs increased killings in the state in 2017.

A Year Later, Los Cabos Tourists Have Forgotten 2017’s Headlines, December 21, 2018.

As tourism arrivals dipped across the country, the Mexican government, private industry and local police officials set about making its popular vacation destinations safer. In Los Cabos, the development of a 5-point security plan included a stepped-up police presence; enhanced communications between hotels, resorts and law enforcement; more security cameras; and the construction of a $9-million-dollar regional emergency response center.

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