Mexico has expressed its determination to crack down on criminal groups in regions where a huge rise in violence resulted in an alarming 25,000 murders last year. Mexican officials said on Sunday that the government is ready to unleash a new wave of troops to fulfill the said goal.
National Security Commissioner Renato Sales said the aim was “to recover peace and calm for all Mexicans.” Sales also said federal troops are set to work with local officials to go after known major criminals, as well as to bolster investigations.
Sales did not indicate yet, however, the number of federal police to be deployed. He said federal police troops would be assigned in the states of Colima and Baja California Sur, the resort town of Cancun and the border city of Ciudad Juarez, along with others. Sales vows to provide more details in the coming days.
Violence happens to be a crucial, central issue ahead of the presidential election in July. Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto’s ruling Institutional Ruling Party is trailing on the third spot in recent polls.
Last year saw a record more than 25,000 recorded murders in the country as rival drug gangs increasingly splintered into smaller groups which also happened to be more blood-thirsty, following more than a decade of a campaign against drug cartels led by the military.
The U.S. has even slapped its most stringent warnings on the states of Colima, Michoacan, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas, and Guerrero, ranking them, in fact, as bad as war-torn Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
This weekend alone, at least 25 people were murdered in Mexico, including nine men who were executed at a house party in a suburb of the wealthy northern industrial city of Monterrey. There were also waves of attacks in night spots, killing three people including a Chilean tourist in a bar in the resort city of Cancun.
Six more people were killed in the border city of Ciudad Juarez while four were also killed in the border state of Tamaulipas.