[4/25/17] Mexico has surpassed 2,000 homicides in a month for the first time since the summer of 2011 and had more killings in the first quarter of 2017 than in the start of any year in at least two decades, according to data released Friday.
Unlike 2011, when bloody cartel clashes in Ciudad Juarez drove the national toll to new heights, the killings pushing the 2017 total have been spread across a number of states. Authorities attribute them to vicious turf battles resulting from breakdowns in the leadership of some cartels and the splintering of others into smaller gangs.
The southern state of Guerrero, where Acapulco is located, continues to be the homicide leader, with 550 during the first three months of the year.
But Baja California Sur with 133 slayings during the first quarter had the largest year-on-year percentage increase, skyrocketing 682 percent from the 17 homicides it had during the same period in 2016. A territorial dispute between the Sinaloa and Jalisco New Generation cartels is believed to be driving much of the violence in the southern part of the peninsula popular with foreign tourists.
Nationally, there were 2,020 homicides in March, up about 11 percent from February. For January through March, the national total was 5,775 killings, up 29 percent from the same three months last year.
Pioquinto Damian Huato, a business leader in the Guerrero state capital of Chilpancingo, led an anti-crime crusade until an attempt was made on his life that resulted in the death of his daughter-in-law in 2014.