AP, July 22, 2019
Mexico set a new record for homicides in the first half of the year as the number of murders grew by 5.3% compared to the same period of 2018, fueled partly by cartel and gang violence in several states.
Mexico saw 3,080 killings in June, an increase of over 8% from the same month a year ago, according to official figures. The country of almost 125 million now sees as many as 100 killings per day nationwide.
In particular, drug cartel turf wars have become increasingly bloody in the northern state of Sonora, where the number of homicides was up by 69% in the first half of the year. But in Sinaloa, where the cartel of convicted drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is based, homicides declined by 23% so far this year compared to last.
And other types of crime, like extortion, have become increasingly frequent and violent.
As if to underscore that, officials said Monday the five men killed Sunday at a bar in the resort of Acapulco were allegedly part of a gang of extortionists who shook down business owners for protection payments.
One suspect has been arrested in the shootings, which left six people wounded. Zuriel said the killers were members of a rival gang.