As the United States grapples with a spike in illegal immigration along the southern border and fears that immigrants will bring violence to America, Mexico is dealing with a massive rise in homicides that has left more than 8,000 victims dead in just the first three months of 2019.
Mexico’s National Public Security System this week announced that 8,493 had been killed in 7,242 homicide cases. Deaths rose 9.6 percent over last year, the report said, according to Mexico News Daily.
According to the report, 2,410 homicide cases were reported in March, which amounts to roughly 77 cases per day.
The rise in deaths during 2019 comes after a violent year in 2018. Overall, murders in Mexico rose 33 percent from 2017 to 2018, with 33,341 murder investigations conducted last year, Reuters reported.
The Mexican city of Tijuana had 2,519 murders in 2018, an increase of 40 percent from 2017, which at the time had been a record-setting year for homicides, KQED reported.
The numbers show that Mexico’s most violent state is Guanajuato, located in the central part of the country. The violence there, as in most places in the country, is linked to turf wars between drug cartels, Fox News reported.
The violence in Mexico is one reason that President Donald Trump, during an interview with Breitbart News, said he was considering having Mexico’s drug cartels classified as foreign terrorist organizations under U.S. law.
“We’re thinking about doing it very seriously. In fact, we’ve been thinking about it for a long time. It’s psychological, but it’s also economic. As terrorists — as terrorist organizations, the answer is yes. They are,” he said.
“Mexico, unfortunately, has lost control of the cartels. They’ve totally lost control of the cartels,” he said, later adding, “It’s considered one of the most unsafe countries in the world.”
Although President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took office in December promising to reduce violence, killing have not slacked off in Mexico.
Over Easter weekend, gunmen killed 13, including five women and a 1-year-old at a party in Veracruz, Bloomberg reported.
Lopez Obrador has said his administration will bring down crime within the next six months.
On Sunday, he defended the creation of a National Guard, which he says will assume police duty now undertaken by the military, according to VOA News.
“What concerns us the most is guaranteeing public safety,” he said. “That is why a reform of the constitution was proposed, so that the army and the navy can help us.”
One commentator said the new president’s reputation is on the line.
“Definitely he’s facing a major challenge,” Alejandro Schtulmann, a political consultant in Mexico City, told Bloomberg. “And it’s one of the most important factors that can hurt his popularity,”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.