Photo: Paul Einerhand/Unsplash


After a five-month downward trend in massacres in Mexico, June closed with 10 mass executions nationwide, making it the worst month of the year for attacks of this kind, according to government statistics.

Massacres, defined by the government as shootings in which five or more people die during a single violent event, surged in Mexico last month due a collapse of tenuous political accords within illicit markets following the nation’s electoral reconfiguration, according to Catalina Pérez Correa, a research professor at the Center for Economic Research and Teaching (CIDE).

“When the balance of political forces changes, these agreements are often broken,” Pérez Correa said.

“Also, the financial crisis that we are experiencing is another factor that is contributing to the rise in violence.”

In the first half of 2021, Mexico registered at least 40 massacres, resulting in 293 deaths, according to the Citizens Security and Protection Secretariat, compared to a total of 71 massacres in all of 2020.

The mass executions this year took place across a large swath of the country, including in Guanajuato, Baja California, Mexico City, Veracruz, Zacatecas, Tamaulipas, Guerrero, Jalisco, Chihuahua, Michoacán, State of Mexico, Sonora, Nuevo León, Chiapas, San Luis Potosí and Tabasco.

In January of this year, 12 massacres were registered in Mexico, with 88 dead, while in February, the number of mass murders dropped to six. March, April and May each saw four massacres.

In June, however, the number of massacres surged starting after the June 6 midterm elections, the largest in Mexico’s history.

On June 6, in the midst of the voting in San Luis Potosí, nine bodies were reportedly discovered in the municipality of Vanegas, and on June 19, 19 people were massacred in Reynosa, Tamaulipas.

Six days later,18 more people died in a clash between criminal groups in Valparaíso, Zacatecas.

On Wednesday, June 30, nine murders were reported in a series of incidences in Zacatecas, with the bodies of two of the victims found crucified, in an apparent power struggle between drug cartel groups.

During the first six months of 2021, there were a total of 40 mass murders in Mexico, compared to 71 massacres in all of 2020.

Pérez Correa said that the current federal administration continues to prioritize the deployment of the National Guardsmen and military troops over the strengthening of state and municipal police, which has facilitated the rise in mass murders and violence crimes in general.

She said that the error of the federal government’s approach is clearly evidenced in the rise in mass murders nationwide.

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