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Chihuahua Is Mexico's Most Violent State In 2013

Mexico's federal government says the murder rate in that country fell in 2013.

That claim is disputed by independent analysts. But using Mexico's own statistics, a murder still takes place there almost every hour and the kidnapping rate rose considerably last year.

Mexico says the number of murders related to organized crime last year was the lowest in four years, falling by 19 percent to 10,095. In 2012 the figure was 12,412.

Then there's kidnapping. Even as Mexico's federal government trumpets a decline in murders, it concedes kidnapping is rising.

Several recent polls suggest Mexican citizens are terrified by the twin threats of kidnapping and extortion.

In its end-of-year report released Monday, Mexico's government says kidnappings rose by 32 percent, with the biggest increases in the border state of Tamaulipas and the chaotic state of Michoacan where vigilante groups have formed to combat drug cartels.

In a footnote, there were no reported killings of journalists in 2013. That marks the first time in a decade that there were no known murders of reporters.