MURDERS HAVE SPIKED IN MEXICO, Social activists have worried since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic that confinement of families for a long time might increase domestic violence and child abuse. Indeed, they had predicted rightly. Alongwith increased number of reported child abuse cases, the number of domestic violence on women and murders have also increased around the world. The city of Mexico has seen a spike in the number of homicides including a 9.2% increase in killings of women as per government reports. The data of the first half of 2020 shows an increase of 1.9% in homicides as compared to 2019 i.e. 17,653 to 17,982. The number of women killed in the first half of 2020 is 489 in Mexico as compared to 448 killings in the same period of 2019.
Meanwhile, some experts had hoped that the coronavirus lockdown would limit the drug gang activity due to restrictions on movements but the Defense Department had released an analysis proving the opposite with a disturbing video. It was a genuine one showing masked drug cartel gunmen and had received around 16 million views within a few days.
The Defense Department had stated that the video showed a column of about 75 Jalisco cartel gunmen who were clad with military-style fatigues and a dozen of homemade armoured pickup trucks, nine belt-fed machine guns, an anti-aircraft gun, ten sniper rifles of 0.50- calibre, 54 assault rifles and six grenade launchers. The video displayed “evidence of military-style training” and it may have been timed to coincide with the birthday of Jalisco cartel leader Nemesio “El Mencho” Oseguera.
According to the defence department, the video was filmed near the border of Guanajuato and Jalisco states and it shows an “elite group” of cartel gunmen formed in 2019 who have been linked to a police attack but who haven’t used armoured vehicles in the combat or directly attacked federal forces.
Many of the trucks owned by the cartel gunmen have welded steel-plate armours, firing slots and turrets. Some were painted with the initials of Jalisco cartel.
“The armament, the equipment and the vehicles used show an unlimited use of money earned from illegal activities,” said the army. In the past, other drug cartels have posted videos showing impressive firepower but the group shown in the Jalisco tapes, according to the army, “is the only group of this type”. The Defense Department also suggested that the Jalisco cartel gunmen’s tape may be filmed in response to another drug gang leader’s suggestion that he might ask the Sinaloa cartel for help in fighting the Jalisco cartel. Jalisco is currently fighting the Santa Rosa de Lima gang to gain control over the central state of Guanajuato.
A video posted in June of this year shows Jose Antonio Yepez, the leader of the gang at Santa Rosa speaking about allying himself with the cartel of Sinaloa to fight Jalisco’s incursion. The proxy war has made Guanajuato, the deadliest state of Mexico as it was where gunmen burst into a rehabilitation centre and killed 27 people. These figures weren’t included in the government data released recently.