After recording unprecedented levels of violence last year, Guanajuato has suffered a bloody start to the new year.
There were 62 homicides in the state in the first 10 days of 2018, or on average, one murder every four hours. Men, women, teenagers and children are among the victims and many of the deaths are the result of domestic violence.
Around 40% of the cases occurred in Guanajuato’s three largest municipalities, where almost half of the state’s residents live.
Irapuato is the worst affected, recording 11 homicides in the first 10 days of the year. The municipality’s death toll rose further yesterday after four men were shot and killed in a mechanic’s workshop by a group of armed men at around 4:20pm.
The municipalities of León and Celaya are the next worst hit, recording seven homicides each as of Wednesday. In total, 17 Guanajuato cities have recorded homicides in 2018.
Wednesday was particularly violent with 14 homicides recorded across the state.
Among the victims were a 35-year-old man who was killed while attempting to foil a robbery in Léon, two brothers who were gunned down inside a car in Apaseo el Alto, a lawyer who was murdered in his officie in Salvatierra and a couple who were killed in their home in Salamanca.
The body of a woman was also discovered in the municipality of San José Iturbide and two more cadavers were located inside a vehicle in San Luis de la Paz.
Last year was the most violent year on record for the central Mexican state.
There were 1,313 intentional homicides from January to November, according to National Public Security System statistics, and news website AM counted a further 195 in the month of December.
A deteriorating security situation in the state led Governor Miguel Márquez Márquez to beef up security in six particularly violent municipalities in September.
But members of civil society say that authorities still need to do more to combat the scourge of violence.
The Rescatando Ángeles group organized a march against insecurity through the streets of Irapuato earlier this month that ended at municipal headquarters.
The group’s legal representative said it has been working for the past five years to help young people with addictions but is also deeply concerned about insecurity in Irapuato, the state of Guanajuato and the nation as a whole.
“. . . We represent the society who wants to be listened to and come to demand peace in the streets [and] peace in our homes . . .” Eduardo Padilla said.
“Our city has been hijacked by organized crime . . . authorities have a very important task: take action and don’t waste time fighting between political colors and flags; the authorities simply haven’t done their job,” he added.