MEXICO CITY (AP) – The relevant number of murders in Mexico was released on Tuesday, showing that the killings remain essentially unchanged at 36,579 in 2020.
Although the coronavirus pandemic reduced much activity in Mexico in 2020, the number of kills was essentially the same as the 36,661 in 2019.
That left Mexico’s nationwide homicide rate unchanged in 2020 at 29 per 100,000 people. By comparison, the US homicide rate in 2019 was 5.8 per 100,000.
Security expert Alejandro Hope says the preliminary numbers released by the National Statistics Institute on Tuesday will likely be revised up by 1 to 3% when the final numbers are released in October.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador says his government has managed to contain the increase in murders, but has not yet reduced it significantly. In fact, the murders were already leveling off by the time he took office on December 1, 2018.
Experts say much of the violence is fueled by a series of turf warfare fought across the country between the Jalisco and Sinaloa cartels, often allied with or through local gangs.
These fights mainly took place in states such as Guanajuato, Baja California, Michoacan, Zacatecas, Chihuahua, and Sonora. But the turf wars have started to spread to many of the other 32 Mexican states.
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