In 2018, there were 33,341 homicides in Mexico, up more than 15 percent from 2017, when 28,866 murders were registered, according to the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Safety Protection System (SESNSP).

That makes 2018 the year with the highest number of murders since the government first began taking an annual registry in 1997.

In a report released Monday, Jan. 21, the SESNSP also noted that number of gender-based female homicides also increased in 2018 to 861, compared to 759 the year before.

December 2018, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) first month in office, had the highest tally of homicides of the year, with 2,916 murders, 74 of which were femicides.

Much of the violence has been linked to ongoing turf wars between competing drug cartels, the report said.

More than 200,000 people have been assassinated in Mexico since the launching of a controversial 2006 government program to deploy the military to fight drug trafficking.

Since taking office, AMLO has said that irradiating drug trafficking and other organized crime is one of his top priorities.

In addition to creating programs to help curb the root cause of crime by reducing poverty and offering better employment opportunities to marginalized communities, AMLO has presented a plan to create a national police force, known as the Guardia Nacional (National Guard), with the support of the Mexican Army.

Notwithstanding, critics and human rights groups across the country say the proposal, which is still being considered in Congress, constitutes a dangerous militarization of a civilian police force and will only intensify the rate of violence.


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