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A vehicle burns Tuesday in a Guanajuato roadblock. A vehicle burns Tuesday in a Guanajuato roadblock.

Gang violence kills 9 in Guanajuato on Tuesday

Burning vehicles block three highways in Villagrán

Although the Covid-19 pandemic has brought daily life to a standstill in most of Mexico, the threat of a deadly respiratory disease has done little to curb the extreme levels of violence in Guanajuato.

The state saw the highest number of murders in the country in 2019, and after a particularly bloody start to 2020, the trend shows no signs of stopping.

There were nine murders in the state on Tuesday alone when the municipalities of Celaya, Valle de Santiago and Villagrán saw murders, armed confrontations with security forces and roadblocks with burning vehicles.

In Valle de Santiago, armed men entered a barber shop where two police officers were getting their hair cut on their day off. They opened fire on the officers, killing one and seriously wounding the other.

A confrontation between state police and a group of armed civilians in Villagrán left one of the attacking civilians dead during a chase. Police were able to arrest two others before they got away.

State Public Security Minister Alvar Cabeza de Vaca said that state police were deployed to the city in response to a report of a stolen vehicle. As a result of the deployment, criminals blocked three highways accessing the city with at least six burning vehicles.

“We’re certain that due to this intervention, other criminals have blocked highways surrounding the municipality of Celaya,” said Cabeza de Vaca.

Also in Celaya, a commando of masked men assassinated five people at a steel distribution yard on the outskirts of the city. They forced the people to their knees in the workshop and killed them execution-style.

Another man in Celaya was killed around 2:00 p.m., his body left in an auto dealership.

State police had already found another body wrapped in a blanket in a different part of Celaya earlier that morning.

Over the weekend, a transgender rights activist was murdered in the city of San Felipe, in the north of the state. Karla Valentina Camarena del Castillo’s body was found in an area known as Las Cabañas on Sunday.

Governor Diego Sinhue Rodríguez announced in December that Guanajuato state police officers would receive a raise, making them the highest-paid state police force in the country.

The state continued to be Mexico’s most violent in February, when 348 people were victims of intentional homicide.

Sources: El Universal (sp)

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