As President López Obrador visits the state of Zacatecas with a new security plan in mind, the homicides continue: eight bodies were discovered hanging from trees and bridges in Fresnillo on Tuesday, adding to the 13 publicly displayed corpses hanging from overpasses last week, three in the same area. Forty murders were reported in the state last week.
Seven of the bodies found on Tuesday were identified as men from Fresnillo aged 15-77 years, the news website Infobae reported.
Three were found hanging from a bridge over the Aguanaval River in San José de Lourdes, three were discovered hanging from a tree near Montemariana and another two were found in trees off the highway that connects San Ignacio and San Gabriel.
Fresnillo is seen by its residents as the least safe city in the country: 94.3% of the adults reported feeling unsafe in a survey by federal statistics agency INEGI in September.
Last week’s gruesome discoveries saw 10 bodies found on highway 45 in the municipality of Cuauhtémoc on the border with Aguascalientes on November 18, and three corpses found hanging from a pedestrian overpass outside of Fresnillo on November 15.
A turf war has raged since mid-2020 in Zacatecas between the Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG), which seeks to expand in the north of the country.
From December 2018 through September 2021, Zacatecas saw 2,192 murders.
Many police officers have abandoned their duties amid the ongoing cycle of violence. Of 58 municipalities in Zacatecas eight have few or no municipal police officers.
In Cuauhtémoc, one traffic cop armed with a rifle and a pistol is single-handedly trying to ensure the safety of the municipality of 11,275 people after municipal police decided not to go to work.
Earlier this week the mayor asked residents to remain in their homes at night. The plea worked, the newspaper Milenio reported: the streets are dead quiet after 8:00 p.m. as citizens seek to avoid getting caught in the crossfire between warring sicarios.
President López Obrador traveled to Zacatecas on Wednesday to meet with Governor David Monreal and form a plan for the state’s security. “We are going … to support David Monreal and give all our support to the people of Zacatecas. The entire cabinet of the federal government is going, today and tomorrow, to a security meeting. The entire security plan is going to be reinforced,” the president said at his morning news conference on Wednesday.