Murder is on the rise in Mexico. Ten years after the government launched its war on drugs and sent the military to combat cartels, homicides are at levels not seen since the height of that offensive. The violence is widespread, but it remains most prevalent in a few hard-hit towns and cities.
Hugo del Angel says his city, Ecatepec, a sprawling, struggling suburb of nearly 2 million outside Mexico City, is definitely high on that list.
“It’s probably one of the three most problematic in the whole country,” he says.
Del Angel isn’t that far off. According to new government figures, nearly half of all homicides in the country occur in just 50 cities; Ecatepec is near the top.
The past two years have seen a jump in violence in cities throughout Mexico. In January alone, 1,938 people were killed, according to Mexico’s executive secretary for the National Public Security System, putting 2017 on track to be one of the deadliest years in a decade.