A peace march in Guadalajara in 2015. A peace march in Guadalajara in 2015.

50 people have been murdered in Jalisco since the weekend

Insecurity is a big challenge for the state's new government

The new Jalisco government has been given a bloody welcome to office: more than 50 people have been murdered in the state since the weekend.

In the early hours of yesterday morning, 10 people were murdered, the newspaper El Financiero reported.

Eight of them were shot dead, including four individuals aged between 25 and 30 who were attacked inside a home in the Guadalajara neighborhood of Vicente Guerrero. A fifth person also suffered gunshot wounds at the same address and was reported to be in serious condition.

Yesterday’s homicides followed three days of violence, with at least one multiple homicide on each of Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Jalisco was identified as one of six insecurity hot spots by new federal Security Secretary Alfonso Durazo last week, underscoring the challenges faced by the new state government led by Enrique Alfaro Ramírez.

The new governor said this week that a new security strategy will be announced on January 1 with particular focus on the Guadalajara metropolitan area, where murder rates have increased significantly.

Data on the state government platform Seguridad Mapa shows that the number of annual homicides in Guadalajara has increased by 240% since former governor Aristóteles Sandoval took office in 2013, while there has been a 200% spike in the murder rate in the neighboring municipality of Tlaquepaque.

There have been around 1,800 homicides in Jalisco this year, a statistic which new security cabinet chief Macedonio Tamez said was cause for concern. However, he deflected responsibility for the current wave of violence.

“The red [warning] light welcomed us when we assumed office, it was already on . . . This dynamic of violence we’re experiencing is the same one that was there before we entered [government]. With this I want to explain that the situation in the state is alarming, it’s worrying and it’s forcing us to take decisions such as getting together daily to work on the issue of security,” Tamez said.

Governor Alfaro said Monday that agreements that had created the regional and metropolitan single-command police forces have expired, meaning that the state police are back on the beat.

His government plans to strengthen the Metropolitan Security Agency in order to facilitate the establishment of coordinated actions between state and federal security forces.

It will also review the management of the C5 security monitoring system that started operations two months ago, although more than 2,000 surveillance cameras are still to be installed.

Jalisco is home to Mexico’s most powerful and dangerous criminal organization – the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) – which is accused of torturing and murdering three students in Guadalajara this year and carrying out an attack on the state’s former labor secretary, among other high profile crimes.

Source: El Financiero (sp) 

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