May is the deadliest month in decades

Homicides fell somewhat after peaking in 2011 but have risen again

Photo: File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
English 24/06/2017 11:50 AP Actualizada 11:50
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May was Mexico's bloodiest month in at least 20 years and homicides are up sharply in 2017 compared with last year, new government crime statistics show.

Statistics published by the Interior Department said 2.186 people were murdered last month. The previous monthly high was 2.131 in May 2011, according to a review of publicly available records that date back to 1997.

During the first five months of 2017, there were 9.916 killings nationwide, an increase of about 30 percent over the 7.638 slain during the same period last year.

"Pretty grim. Not shocking, because we've seen this for months," Mexican security analyst Alejandro Hope said. "But, yeah, it's really grim."

Mexico launched a militarized offensive over a decade ago to combat drug cartels that plague parts of the country. Homicides fell somewhat after peaking in 2011 but have risen again.

At the state level, Baja California Sur saw the biggest jump in the first five months of 2017. After registering 36 killings during the same period in 2016, that spiked by 369 percent to 169 this year.

There were also significant increases in Veracruz (93 percent), Quintana Roo (89 percent) and Sinaloa (76 percent).

Hope said the violence is being driven in part by "the weakening of the Sinaloa drug cartel," whose top boss, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, was extradited to face drug charges in the United States earlier this year. Hope also noted "the parallel rise of the Jalisco (New Generation) cartel."

In Baja California Sur in particular, Hope said, a Sinaloa faction is battling for control both against rivals within the cartel and externally against Jalisco. Hope also cited increased heroin trafficking, difficulties implementing a new criminal justice system and insufficient federal police response to the crime surge.


Temas Relacionados
violence México security drug war
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