Posted by Chuck B Almada, Republished from a Business Insider article
Nationwide, there were 2,187 homicide victims in September, exceeding the 2,155 of August and the 2,098 recorded in July. July was the first time the number of homicide victims was over 2,000 since the government began releasing that statistic at the start of 2014.
The number of homicide cases — a data point the Mexican government has released since 1997 — were 1,974 in September, which was a high for this year and the most registered since May 2012, meaning those 1,974 cases are the most recorded in a month since current President Enrique Peña Nieto took office in December 2012.
“Measured by daily average, September 2016 was the month with most preliminary investigations for intentional homicide since June of 2011,” Hope said. 2011 and 2012 were the tail end of a period of violence that lashed
“Let me put it this way: there were more homicides [in September 2016] than in 11 of 12 months of 2012 and in 9 of 12 in 2011,” Hope added.
The 16,747 homicide victims recorded nationwide through the first nine months of this year put the country on pace to vastly exceed the 18,673 registered through all of 2015 and the 17,324 the country saw in all of 2014, returning to homicide levels not seen since 2011.
The ongoing spike in homicides is largely driven by increasing violence among organized-crime groups involved in the drug trade.
Guerrero state saw 170 homicides. That number was down significantly from the 217 the state had in August, but it was still the second most in the country last month. Guerrero is home to extensive marijuana and opium cultivation, and its location on the coast and near the country's center has made it prize territory for traffickers.
It's thought regional groups, including the Guerreros Unidos gang involved in the disappearance of 43 students in September 2014, are vying for control of the state's eastern highlands, while other gangs and major cartel groups like the Sinaloa cartel and the Jalisco New Generation cartel (CJNG) are battling for control of Acapulco, a once idyllic resort city on the Pacific coast that is now one of the most violent cities in the world.
Michoacan, in southwest
The brutal reign of the Knights Templar cartel sparked a popular uprising around 2014, with citizen-formed auto defensas, or self-defense groups, rising up.
That uprising, coupled with a heavy federal response, undermined the Knights Templar, but since then other groups, including the ascendant CJNG, have moved in.
In recent weeks, clashes in the state have intensified, particularly in the state's central Tierra Caliente region, as remnants of the Knight Templar, elements of the CJNG, state security forces, and others clash. A government helicopter was shot down in September.
The most shocking spike in killings has come in Colima, one of
Nestled between Jalisco and Michoacan, Colima is home to the
The state's homicide rate so far this year, 58.99 per 100,000 people, is nearly five times the national average of 12.43.
The rising violence has also affected areas savaged by drug-related violence between 2009 and 2012.
through which highly lucrative trafficking routes pass.
Farther west, in
fighting between the Sinaloa cartel and the CJNG cartel have pushed up homicide levels too.
This isn't to say that all of
Nayarit, tucked between Jalisco and Sinaloa on the west coast, has only had 31 killings this year.
The criteria used to structure this deployment likely left out many areas with serious crime problems, Hope argued in September.
This kind of intervention also mirrors past responses to crime, such as Calderon's massive deployment in 2007, to which several years of brutal, nationwide violence has been attributed.