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Mexico murder rate surges back to peak drug war levels

July 24, 2016  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Mexico murder rate surges back to peak drug war levels

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The murder rate in Mexico has significantly increased after a few years in which killing had begun to decline.

Earlier this week, the Mexican government released official numbers showing there were 10,301 killed in the first six months of 2016, which is a 15 percent increase compared to the same period in 2015, and ten percent lower than 2011 when the rate of homicides plateaued as a result of the drug war in Ciudad Juarez.

However, the rising trend is a troubling illustration that the Mexican government’s kingpin strategy, which targets leaders of major organizations, has had a reverse effect and is the primary reason for the rising trend.

Since taking office in 2012, Presiden Enrique Pena Nieto often touted the decrease in the murder rate homicides to claim his administration’s policies successfully reduced the power of the drug cartels.

However, most experts agree that the reduction in homicides, which started to decline before Pena Nieto took office, was due in part because of the end of the bloody war in Ciudad Juárez between the Sinaloa and Juarez cartels which resulted in an average of eight murders a day.

The city’s residents are more convinced that the falling number of killings had less to do security strategy and more to with the Sinaloa Cartel’s conquest over their rival Vicente Carrillo Fuentes Organization.

Although violence has relatively tampered down in Ciudad Juárez, violence has skyrocketed in other parts of the country, which is the cause of the growing trend, Vice News reported.

Some blame the increasing violence between smaller regionalized groups who have derived from the fragmentation of some of the major criminal organizations and “really nasty” confrontations between the remaining larger groups.

Two states that have seen the highest spike in murders stemming from vicious turf wars between localized groups are the Mexico State and Guerrero.

Violence has also raged in the northern border state of Tamaulipas, as a result of an ongoing war between two factions of the Los Zetas cartel.

The Vieja Escuela Z, or Zetas Old School, a group out of Ciudad Victoria led by several of the original Zetas founders has gone to war with Cartel del Noroeste, or the Northeastern Cartel, the faction based in Nuevo Laredo led by the young nephew of imprisoned boss Miguel Angel Treviño alias ‘Z40.’

“It is a very worrying trend, we’re fast approaching the levels we experienced during the late months of the Calderón administration,” said prominent Mexican security analyst Alejandro Hope.

Additionally, Hope links the surge in violence to the apprehension of the Sinaloa cartel’s notorious leader Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, which has left rival cartels “smelling weakness in Sinaloa.”

The rise in the murder rate coincides with increased reports of rival criminal organizations encroaching into territories long held by the Sinaloa Federation, who have also weakened by internal fighting that has erupted between rival factions jostling for power.

As Jammed Up previously reported, rival drug trafficking organizations including a group headed by old school gangster Rafael Caro Quintero, who was released from prison in 2013, along with remnants of the Beltran Leyva and the rapidly growing Jalisco New Generation Cartel, have mounted a challenge for Sinaloa Cartel controlled territories.

Experts say there is a direct correlation between the conflicts and the rising rate of homicides in states including Sinaloa, Baja California Sur, Colima, Guanajuato, and Chihuahua.

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