Homicides increase in Mexico where Sinaloa Cartel operates

1,938 murders recorded in Mexico during January, a fifth occurred in the states of Baja California, Sinaloa, and Chihuahua, where the organization of Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán operates.

Homicides in Mexico grew more than a third in January largely because of the violence generated by criminal groups fighting for the leadership of the Sinaloa cartel after the extradition of their leader, Joaquin El Chapo Guzman, to the United States.

The Secretariado Ejecutivo, which concentrates figures on various crimes committed in the country, published Monday that 1,938 people were murdered in Mexico in January, compared to 1,442 homicides that occurred in the same month of 2016.

The fifth of the events occurred in the states of Baja California, Sinaloa, and Chihuahua, where the Sinaloa cartel is present.

“(These figures) have to do with violence in the states where this man has dominion … The Chapo’s imprisonment in a US prison leaves vacant control of the square,” said the security researcher In Sinaloa, Tomás Guevara.

In January, Sinaloa recorded 116 homicides, 39 cases more than in the same period of the previous year. The same happened in Chihuahua, where 44 cases occurred, and in Baja California, where the number rose from 87 to 129.

Last week Secretary of Defense in Mexico, Salvador Cienfuegos, announced that security would be reinforced in Sinaloa with more military personnel, in the wake of the violence that arose after Guzman’s extradition.

In an afternoon event, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said that “we still have important challenges in some parts of the country in terms of security,” but added that other areas have reversed this trend.

More than 150,000 people have been killed in Mexico in the last 10 years since former President Felipe Calderón made the decision to send tens of thousands of soldiers to the streets to fight drug trafficking.

The security strategy, which has been strongly questioned even by international organizations and remained under Peña Nieto, far from containing the criminal groups has caused them to diversify to other crimes such as human trafficking, fuel, minerals, kidnappings, between others.