Mexico has recorded its highest ever murder rate with government data revealing a shocking 17,065 homicides were committed in the first six months of 2019. That equates to 94 murders every day.
The information, released Tuesday by the Secretariat of Security and Citizens Protection, showed the murder rate has increased from the same period last year, up from 16,585 murders in the first half of 2018.
A staggering 33,369 people were assassinated in all of 2018, the highest number since the country started keeping official numbers in 1997. However, 2019 is on course to eclipse that figure.
According to the government, 2,543 killings were recorded in June, but officials expect the number to surpass the 3,000 when an updated report is released July 20, making it the deadliest month in Mexico’s history.
The data revealed 2,932 homicides in January and 2,877 in February. The month of March saw 2,933 murders. The figure dropped to 2,801 in April and spiked in May with 2,979 killings.
Including the 2,879 murders in December 2018, and there have been almost 20,000 Mexicans killed since President Andrés Manuel López Obrador entered office.
Mexico has been engulfed in a wave of violence since the government launched an all-out offensive to root out organized criminal organizations in 2006 under former President Felipe Calderon. Since then, there have been more than 200,000 murders.
López Obrador vowed to resolve a problem, which he blamed on previous administrations.
At the start of the year, the leftist leader announced the creation of a National Guard force as a method to combat crime.
After it was approved in March, the president finally rolled out his new militarized unit this week, which consists of 70,000 troops made up of Army and Navy recruits, as well as police officers from municipal, state and federal units.
Guanajuato and the state of México were the deadliest regions, followed by the states of Jalisco, Baja California, Chihuahua, Veracruz, Mexico City, and Guerrero.
At least 1,800 National Guardsmen will be deployed in Guanajuato where they will be tasked with confronting the ongoing violent battle between the Jalisco New Generation Cartel – considered the most powerful in the country – and the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel. Both factions have been fighting for control of fuel theft, extortion, and kidnapping in the region.
At least 450 members of the National Guard were allocated to the state of Mexico this week where the Jalisco New Generation Cartel is embroiled in a turf war with the Familia Michoacana, the Caballeros Templarios, the Gulf Cartel, and the Nuevo Imperio gang.
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Mexican authorities have been unsuccessful in capturing the cartel’s leader, Nemesio ‘El Mencho’ Oseguera Cervantes.
The 52-year-old is the most-wanted man in Mexico and the United States.
The U.S. government is offering a $10million reward for information leading to his capture.