Even after a two-year hiatus, the situation of violence in Mexico has continued. For those readers that have returned, thank you. For those who are just reading the “Cartel” series on AnthroPolitique, Welcome. “Cartel” is a series within AnthroPolitique that provides an overview of social, cultural, economic, and political situations surrounding organized crime networks, both present and past.
This week, we will return again to Mexico, taking a look only at the events that have occurred in the month of July 2017. “We are not even halfway through the month”, you may say. Unfortunately, in 2017, violence has left record murder rates in Mexico, with 2,186 murder investigations in the month of May 2017 alone and 9,916 in the first five months of 2017. As of today, July 11th, 2017, the following events have made headlines in relation to the ongoing drug and gang violence in Mexico:
In Mexico, massacre of family underlines surging violence
3 bodies found in condo parking lot in Mexico resort town
What does this mean?
Well first, it does not appear that either direct or indirect cartel violence has shied away from targeting families, religious leaders, students, and other innocent bystanders, in addition to any others that may be directly involved. What these particular headlines represent is the targeting of innocents – those that have either resisted the violence or are in some way linked indirectly to the events that have ravished Mexico since the crackdown on drugs under former President Felipe Calderon in 2006. While the rates of murder soar in Mexico, what is more, alarming is the number of “disappearances” that have continued since the disappearance of 43 students in September 2014.
As a glimpse of hope, I would like to highlight another article from the Los Angeles Times this week titled “One Mexican town revolts against violence and corruption. Six years in, its experiment is working”.
Inspired by this Cheran town example, next week we will take a look at how violence and terror from cartel conflict can be countered by breaking the link between crime, drugs, and politics.
For more information and alerts on Criminal Violence in Mexico, take a look at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Global Conflict Tracker: https://www.cfr.org/global/global-conflict-tracker/p32137#!/conflict/criminal-violence-in-mexico. Note that the current conflict status has been noted as “unchanging”.