4/23/2019 – Bloomberg
By Eric Martin
Murders in Mexico climbed almost 10 percent in the first three months of the year, confronting President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador with perhaps his biggest challenge as he seeks to maintain popularity and make good on a key campaign promise.
Slayings surged to 8,493 from January through March, compared with 7,750 a year earlier and 8,433 in the final three months of 2018, according to data released by the national public security system. Crime rates jumped across the board, with kidnappings rising by a third and extortion climbing by nearly half in the first quarter from a year ago.
The latest high-profile case of violence came over the Easter holiday weekend when gunmen killed 13 people, including a one-year-old child and five women, at a party in the Gulf Coast state of Veracruz. Lopez Obrador, who held his daily news conference from the state’s capital on Monday, said he plans to visit Minatitlan, the city where the shooting occurred, on Friday. He added that violence will fall nationally within six months.