When Interior Secretary Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong acknowledged this week that violence has been on the rise he said the increase applied to certain regions, without specifying which.
But the state of Guanajuato must surely be one of them.
The 95 assassinations in August was the highest of any month this year, according to the National Public Security System. Most of the murders have been linked to the activities of organized crime in the Bajío state.
Comparative figures to the end of July indicate intentional homicides were up 13% during the first seven months of 2016 compared to the same period last year, rising from 470 to 532.
In the last three months alone, Guanajuato has registered 354 of the 652 crimes on record in the first eight months of the year.
Vehicle thefts have also seen a big increase. Figures for the first six months of the year show a 40% hike in theft with violence of insured vehicles over the same period last year, rising from 342 to 480, says OCRA, an organization that tracks down stolen vehicles.
(The figures show that six other states recorded even higher increases in such thefts, with Campeche leading the way with a whopping 450%.)
Some of Guanajuato’s homicide victims have included high-ranking officials belonging to the municipal police of the city of Celaya, including Commander Marco Antonio Murillo Gómez, who was executed August 8 while eating breakfast inside the city’s El Dorado market.
Three days later, police officer Césarea Saavedra Jiménez was killed after her vehicle was ambushed by sicarios, or hired assassins.
In July, another commander of the Celaya police force was shot to death.
For the state leader of the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), the increase in homicides results from the lack of a security strategy.
“We’ve insisted that the state coordinate its efforts with the municipal and federal forces because homicides keep increasing but to date there’s no defined strategy,” said Baltar Zamudio.
Army Commander Pedro Felipe Gurrola Ramírez has announced that the Army and Federal Police will increase their presence in the municipalities of León, Irapuato and Celaya, where the largest number of homicides have been registered.
The state began the first day of September with the gruesome discovery of three corpses, two of which were found in a shallow grave by a farmer in the municipality of Apaseo El Alto and the third on a parcel of cultivated land in the municipality of Pénjamo.
Today there was an outbreak of violence in the city of Abasolo. Fragmentation grenades are believed to have been used in an attack on two small businesses, a corner store and a tortillería, in which two people were hurt. Six people were injured in the city on Monday when a man threw an explosive device into a beer store.