Mexican violence surges; the body count rises


People use drugs for a variety of reasons, many of them a direct result of the alienation inherent in the rapacious finance capitalism that robs people of the livelihoods and their dignity so that a very few can reap huge rewards.

But whatever the reasons, the demand needs a suppliers, and as the example of alcohol prohibition in the earlier 20th Century reveals, the need will be met by armed syndicates engaged in fierce, violent competition in its purest form in order to reap rich rewards.

The criminalization of intoxicants north of the border has resulted in the creation of cartels south of the border, violent gangs engaged in bloody combat to control the huge market in the north.

And 2016 is set to yield a record body count in Mexico.

From El País:

For Mexico, 2016 will be remembered as the country’s most violent in recent years, with 20,858 murders registered between January and November, the highest number so far in President Enrique Peña Nieto’s four years in office, according to figures compiled by the National Public Security System.

The figures are based on investigations undertaken by state-level public prosecutors, and show that November was the bloodiest month so far this year, with 2,018 murders, 25% up from the same month in 2015. The total number of homicides for 2015 was 18,673, up from the 17,324 for 2014.

Mexico’s murder rate spiked this summer, with 2,094 killings reported in July, and never falling below 2,000 a month since then, a trend unseen up to that point during the Peña Nieto administration. The government’s security strategy has failed to halt the killings, which have increased in 24 of the country’s 32 states. August saw an increase, followed by September’s 2,189 homicides. That was the worst month since May 2012, when Mexico was still under Felipe Calderón, who launched a massive crackdown on drug cartels after his election in 2006.

The reasons for this year’s increase lie with renewed turf wars between the country’s drug cartels. Colima, a small state on Mexico’s Pacific coast that had largely escaped the violence, was the setting for bloodletting between the Jalisco Nueva Generación cartel and other criminal gangs for control of the port of Manzanillo. This sent the murder rate soaring by almost 300%. Colima, with just 350,000 inhabitants, now has the highest per capita murder rate in the country at 89 per 100,000.

And gangsters aren’t the only victims

Perhaps the most infamous single incident of cartel violence, a crime abetted by police and the military, was the 26 September 2014 abduction and disappearance of 43 students from the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers’ College in Ayotzinapa [previously].

But it’s not just students and folks who catch stray bullets during gangland shootouts.

The cartels are also killing priests who dare to speak up against the reign of terror,

From teleSUR English:

While Mexico is one of the most devout Catholic countries in the world, for eight consecutive years it has been the world’s most dangerous country for priests, who are being killed and attacked at record rates, according to a report from the Catholic Media Centre.

In 2016, three Mexican priests were killed and four other Catholic teachers were also killed, according to the report from the Catholic Media Centre, which said that 2016 has been the deadliest year for priests since they started keeping records.

Between 1990 and 2016, the rate of murdered priests increased by a staggering 375 percent, where 38 priests have either been killed or gone missing. According to reports, more than 80 percent of priest murders have gone unsolved.

The report comes amid increased attacks against religious figures including violent threats and extortion, where Mexico has been labeled the most dangerous country in the world for religious officials for eight years running.

Between 1990 and 2016, 61 attacks were reported against Catholic Church members in the country. In 2016, extortions, at least those that were reported, rose by 70 percent.

The Catholic Media Centre said that while the majority of violence against the church was due to a spilling over of violence from organized crime groups, Mexican security forces were also involved in some incidents.

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