Homicide statistics for Guerrero indicate that authorities have failed to put the brakes on violence in a state that is one of the least secure in Mexico.
In the first 65 days of the year there were six murders a day on average, with Acapulco and Chilpancingo leading the way among the most dangerous areas for violence.
Yesterday alone there were at least 10 people assassinated in less than 24 hours, reported the spokesman for the Guerrero Coordination Group, a coordinating organization of security forces.
Roberto Álvarez Heredia said some of the bodies were found dismembered inside plastic bags, but some bags contained animal remains, which he said was intended to distract the attention of police and sow fear among the population.
The state’s Public Security Secretariat recorded 183 homicides in January, 57 in Acapulco and 29 in Chilpancingo. The total dropped to 153 in February but in the first six days of March there were 42.
The spokesman for an organization of families who have lost loved ones to disappearances and assassinations said it was undeniable that all three levels of government have been unable to deter the violence.
“Governor Astudillo promised order and peace but nothing has changed and now there are many places, such as Chilapa, Tixtla, Zitlala and Chilpancingo, that have become corridors of death,” said José Díaz Navarro of Siempre Vivos (Always Alive) in Chilapa.
Not even in well-defended Acapulco, protected due to its tourism industry, have security forces’ operations been successful, and much less in “abandoned regions” such as Chilapa or Zitlala, he charged.
The Guerrero Coordination Group’s Álvarez said Acapulco violence is due to fighting between gangs over retail drug sales, while in other areas it is a result of fighting over the cultivation and shipment of drugs.
He said 15 crime gangs are responsible for the violence, which is often vicious.
The regions and the warring gangs are:
• Tierra Caliente — disputed by Los Templarios, Familia Michoacana and Los Tequileros.
• Northern region — Familia Michoacana, Guerreros Unidos and Los Rojos.
• Central region and part of the lower Montaña region — Los Jefes (previously Los Rojos, Cártel de la Sierra and Los Ardillos).
• Acapulco — Beltrán Leyva, Cartel Independiente de Acapulco and Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación.
• Costa Grande — Los Granados, Nueva Sangre and Vanguardia Guerrerense.
Opposition politicians charged that Monday’s murders were an indication of institutional weakness and that the state’s security strategy was a failure.
There isn’t “a single positive result” from the strategy implemented by President Enrique Peña Nieto, declared the state director of Morena, leaving citizens “defenseless.”
“The violence that has been instituted in the state of Guerrero is killing us little by little,” said Pablo Amílcar Sandoval Ballesteros, who also charged that it was false to attribute the violence to fighting between criminal gangs.
Not all the deaths can be linked to organized crime, he said, accusing authorities of using it as an excuse to justify their lack of professionalism and ability to investigate the crimes and bring criminals to justice.