Crime & Justice

8 Gunned down at wake in Mexico

Mexico City, Sep 2 (efe-epa).- Eight people were killed and 14 others wounded in an attack on mourners during a wake in the Mexican city of Cuernavaca, the Morelos state Attorney General’s Office said Wednesday.

Assailants traveling in several vehicles arrived at the location around 10.00 pm Tuesday and opened fire with long guns, the AG Office said.

The wake was for a young man who died in a road accident.

Six people were pronounced dead at the scene and two others died while receiving medical care. The fatalities include a 25-year-old woman and two adolescent males.

Two other teenagers are among the 14 wounded males and females undergoing treatment at a number of hospitals in Cuernavaca, a leafy city that is home to a large foreign population and a popular weekend destination for residents of the Mexican capital, roughly 90 minutes away by car.

Based on the preliminary investigation, the attack on the wake appears to have been the work of organized crime, the Morelos AG Office said.

News of the massacre in Cuernavaca came just hours after the government of Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador forecast that 2020 will end with nearly 41,000 homicides, breaking the record of 37,315, set last year.

The federal security agency, SENSP, said in a report that the number of homicides rose by more than 300 in the first half of this year compared with the same period of 2019.

Lopez Obrador, who took office in December 2018, acknowledged that authorities have failed to reduce the incidence of homicide and extortion.

“We have made progress in stopping the growth of criminal acts in almost all offenses except two: extortion and murders,” he told a press conference Wednesday.

“On the order of 75 percent of all murders in the country” can be attributed to organized crime, he said.

“Why has it been so hard for us to reduce the number of homicides? Because it has a lot to do with organized criminality and there is constantly confrontation, clashes between groups. That increases the number of murders,” the president said.

Lopez Obrador said that while his administration inherited the problem of well-established, heavily armed drug cartels, he does not see that fact as “justification” for continuing rise in murders.

Jose Antonio Yepez Ortiz, known as “El Marro,” reputed leader of the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel, was arrested in July in Guanajuato, which leads Mexico in homicides.

But getting El Marro off the streets did not end the violence in Guanajuato and murders nationwide actually increased in July.

“I am confident that we are going to pacify the country, that crime will diminish, because there is no longer collusion,” Lopez Obrador said Wednesday. “There is no criminal association between organized crime and the authorities. The line is clearly drawn.”



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