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Poll: Record Number of Mexicans Crime Victims in 2013

A Mexican soldier stands guard at a checkpoint in Iguala, Guerrero State, Mexico, Sept. 29, 2014, following recent clashes that led to at least six deaths.

While Mexico's government says the country is getting safer, a record number of Mexicans were victims of crime last year, according to a survey by national statistics institute INEGI published on Tuesday.

President Enrique Pena Nieto came to power nearly two years ago vowing to end drug violence that has killed around 100,000 people since 2007.

But while government data shows the murder rate has fallen since Pena Nieto took office, crimes such as kidnapping and extortion, which affect a wider swath of the population, have risen.

In a new record, more than a third of Mexican households had at least one member who was a victim of crime in 2013, Pena Nieto's first full year in office, the annual survey estimated.

Nearly 60 percent of Mexicans believe insecurity is the main problem facing the country, with unemployment and inflation in second and third places, INEGI added.

“Nearly all of the crimes increased from one year to the next. The numbers speak for themselves,” Adrian Franco, head of INEGI's public security statistics department told reporters after delivering the results.

The vast majority of crimes went either unreported or uninvestigated last year, the survey found, with most people saying they failed to report crimes due to a lack of faith in authorities.

The survey estimated that crime and insecurity costs Mexico 213.1 billion pesos ($15.87 billion) a year, or 1.27 percent of the country's gross domestic product.

The survey also estimated that there were 123,470 kidnapping victims in 2013, up from 94,438 in 2012.

Given kidnapping is only a small part of the 33.1 million crimes estimated over the course of the year, the two years' kidnapping figures were statistically comparable, INEGI added.

The survey questioned 95,516 households across the country between March 4 and April 25, 2014.

($1 = 13.4287 pesos)