MEXICO CITY.- Last October became the bloodiest month in Mexico for 20 years, reaching four murders per hour. Official figures published by the National Executive Secretariat indicate that violence shot up by almost 30% compared to 2016.
From January to October 2017, 20,878 homicides were registered, becoming the period with the most violent deaths during the government of President Enrique Peña Nieto.
The states with the highest number of murders in October were Baja California (207), Guerrero (198), Estado de México (189) and Veracruz (174).
Security policy analyst, Alejandro Hope, identified several factors that have caused the increase in violence, with the most important being fighting between organized crime groups. This is especially the case in the border state of Baja California, where 1,733 murders were recorded in the first 10 months of 2017, well above the 1,180 in 2016.
"In Baja California, for example, there is a gang war between the Sinaloa cartel and the Jalisco Nueva Generación cartel," said Hope, who explained that organized crime has been atomized since the capture of several drug trafficking leaders, including Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman, the notorious leader of the Sinaloa cartel now jailed in the United States.
Violence throughout Mexico
In the southern state of Guerrero there are so many corpses that the morgues cannot handle the number of bodies that arrive daily. On Nov 15 the workers at a forensic center in the municipality of Chilpancingo mounted a protest due to the stench of bodies.
On Monday, the president of the State Human Rights Commission of Baja California Sur, Silvestre de la Toba, was killed while walking at night with his family.
His son, Fernando de la Toba Lucero, 20, also died. His wife and daughter were injured and taken to a hospital.
A day earlier, Adolfo Lagos, vice president of Mexico's largest media company, Televisa, was shot and killed after allegedly being struck by a bullet fired by one of his bodyguards while he was riding a bicycle in a park in the central State of Mexico near the Teotihuacán pyramids, a popular tourism sport.