Homicide numbers continue going up with the murders of at least 25 people in Mexico on the weekend while on the other side of the ledger a highly sought-after kidnapper was arrested in Tijuana.
The bloodiest event was registered Saturday night in San Nicolás de los Garza, part of the greater Monterrey area in Nuevo León. A group of family and friends was watching a soccer match at a house in the Constituyentes de Querétaro neighborhood when four armed men, their faces covered, entered the home.
After separating the women and children, the gunmen forced the men to kneel, took away their mobile phones and cash, and opened fire on them.
Seven died on the spot, while two more succumbed later while receiving medical care. Three others remain in hospital.
Preliminary inquiries revealed that a shooting had occurred at the same address last year, and that neighbors had reported that drugs were being sold out of the home.
Police have arrested two men believed to have been involved in Saturday’s multiple homicide.
On the same night, and also in San Nicolás, a man was shot dead as he walked on a street in the 4 de Octubre neighborhood.
In two apparently related incidents in Cadereyta, one person was killed and three more were wounded by men firing guns from a moving vehicle.
In the city of Monterrey a woman was shot and killed at a downtown hotel, while in Santa Catarina an 11-year-old boy died after being shot in the chest and falling from the second story of a building.
Interim Governor Manuel González Flores said he was confident that the killings were isolated cases because a drop in crime had been recorded in the state.
Official figures tell a different story: since Jaime Rodríguez Calderón took office as governor in 2015, the number of violent homicides has been on the rise, year after year.
According to data from the National Public Security System (SNSP), there were 451 homicides in 2015, 644 the following year and 656 last year.
Elsewhere in the country, a Chilean tourist was shot dead in Acapulco, Guerrero, early Sunday morning, victim of a shootout in a bar.
In Cancún, Quintana Roo, armed men entered a bar on Saturday night, killing three and wounding four.
That same night in the city of Veracruz, a similar incident saw two people shot and killed in a bar.
The weekend finished up with six homicides in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, and four more in Tamaulipas state.
Yesterday, National Security Commissioner Renato Sales Heredia announced that special units of the Federal Police will be deployed in Colima, Los Cabos, Cancún and Ciudad Juárez, among other locations, to capture high-profile criminal leaders behind the violence.
They will conduct specific actions in key areas in coordination with the federal Attorney General and state authorities, he said.
He also announced the capture of one of the 15 most-wanted kidnappers in the state of Morelos, 49-year-old Virginia Chaboya Muñoz, also known as “La Viky.”
Arrested in Tijuana in connection with kidnapping and organized crime, Chaboya is believed to be romantically involved with the leader of the Rojos criminal gang.