Zacatecas Governor David Monreal Ávila. Photo: Senado de la República


Just one month into his six-year term as governor of central northern Mexican state of Zacatecas, the administration of David Monreal Ávila, from President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) leftist National Regeneration Movement (Morena) party, has already racked up a roster of 220 drug-related murders, making for an average daily homicide rate of more than seven.

Among the victims were seven police officers, including four municipal police in the state capital of Zacatecas who were gunned down in broad daylight while off duty on Oct. 9, according to official Zacatecas reports.

Zacatecas is the Mexican state with the highest rate of homicides in the country, with 61.51 victims per 100,000 inhabitants per month.

It is also the state with the third-highest number of police killings, with 29 so far this year.

On assuming the governorship, Monreal Áliva ratified the position of Arturo López Bazán as security secretary. López Bazán had been appointed to that position on Sept. 9, 2020 by Zacatecas’ previous governor, Alejandro Tello Cristerna of Mexico’s centralist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).

López Bazán is a former coordinator and general director of the investigation division of the now-defunct Federal Police and a former deputy general director of the Coordination of the Gendarmerie Division, a unit established by former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to protect the country’s cultural heritage.

Violence in Zacatecas has been on the rise for several years, mostly related to organized crime and turf wars between different drug cartels.

It was expected that Monreal Ávila, a dormer senator and close associate of AMLO, would deploy the president’s National Guard (GN) to try to curb the violence, but, so far, he has not.


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