Saturday, March 2, 2024

Guanajuato ‘is complicated,’ says AMLO as violence continues

The security situation in Guanajuato – Mexico’s most violent state in 2019 – is “complicated,” President López Obrador said on Monday.

“The Guanajuato situation is something we’re attending to . . .” López Obrador told reporters at his regular news conference. “Indeed, there’s a lot violence,” he added.

The president said the government is giving “special attention” to the state, explaining that the deployment of the National Guard is being reinforced and that the armed forces are also providing assistance to combat insecurity.

“We have a lot of [security] elements [in Guanajuato] . . . from the National Guard, the Secretariat of National Defense and the Secretariat of the Navy because yes, [the state] is messed up,” López Obrador said.

The president declared that the violence problem predates his government before conceding that the situation has worsened since he took office in December 2018.

A bloody turf war between the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, considered Mexico’s most powerful and dangerous criminal organization, and the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel over control of fuel theft, extortion and kidnapping is regarded as the main driver of violence in the state.

“. . .On average, 15% [of homicides] are in Guanajuato . . . the weekend was very difficult. . .” López Obrador said, referring to the murders of at least 48 people, including an attack in Villagrán Friday night that left nine people dead.

One in five murders over the weekend were in the Bajío, he added, referring to a region of central Mexico comprising parts of Guanajuato, Querétaro and Jalisco states.

The president, whose non-confrontational security strategy is coming under increased pressure after homicides hit a record high in 2019, insisted that violence is falling in the majority of the country, specifically citing Durango, Sinaloa, Nayarit and Tamaulipas.

However, the situation in Guanajuato is “out of the ordinary,” López Obrador said. “The crime rate increased a lot [due to] groups that are fighting.”

Once considered among Mexico’s safest states, Guanajuato recorded the highest number of homicides in Mexico for a second year in a row in 2019.

More than 3,500 people were murdered there last year, almost 700 more than the number of homicide victims in Mexico’s second most violent state, Baja California.

Source: Reforma (sp)

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