Mexico’s bloody drug-related violence has surged to a new record

7/26/2017 Business Insider

APTOPIX Mexico Election ViolenceThe bloodshed related to Mexico’s decade-long fight against drugs and organized crime has surged to a new record.

The 2,566 homicides victims recorded in June were a 40% increase over the same month last year, and the most recorded in a month since the Mexican government started releasing that data in 2014.

June’s 2,234 homicide cases (a case can contain more than one victim) were the most registered in a month since the government started releasing crime data in 1997.

Over the first half of the year, Mexico saw 13,729 homicide victims nationwide, a 33% increase over the same period last year. The 12,155 homicide cases through June this year were a 31% increase over the first six months of 2016 and the most seen during the first half of a year in any year for which data is available.

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Shootout raises anew specter of cartels in Mexico City

7/21/2017 Los Angeles Times

crime sceneIt was still daylight when a Mexican military patrol was attacked on the city streets, leading to what authorities described as a fierce firefight with a heavily armed gang.

Soon the Internet and newspapers were showing images of the gory aftermath: the bloodstained bodies of the gang leader and four of his confederates on the floor of a carport, a rifle next to his head and bundles that appeared to be drugs on a nearby folding table.

Supporters of the slain capo torched vehicles on the streets in an effort to thwart police patrols advancing through the neighborhood.

It was hardly an unusual scene in a country that has been ravaged by drug violence. Except the violence Thursday unfolded in Mexico City, which has generally been spared the mass killings, cartel savagery and street battles of the country’s drug wars.

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Five killed in Mexico City shootings

07/23/2017 Reuters

gun - crime sceneFive people were killed and nearly a dozen injured in separate shootings in Mexico City on Sunday, authorities said, adding to a growing death toll in the capital which has largely been spared the criminal violence plaguing the country.

Two gunmen on a motorcycle shot four people in a bar in the gritty Llano Redondo neighborhood on the city’s southwestern fringe early on Sunday morning, according to the local attorney general’s office.

A woman of 23, and two men aged 23 and 38 died of their injuries. Authorities said the fourth victim, a 23-year-old man, remains in hospital after the attack.

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U.N. experts seek halt to use of spyware in Mexico and want full probe

07/19/2017 Reuters

united nationsGENEVA (Reuters) – U.N. human rights experts called on the government of Mexico on Wednesday to “cease the surveillance immediately” of activists and journalists and to conduct a fully impartial investigation into the illegal spying.

In the latest case, an international probe into the 2014 disappearance of 43 students in Mexico was targeted with spying software sold to governments to fight criminals and terrorists, according to a report published last week.

Civilians in Mexico have been targeted by the software known as Pegasus, which Israeli company NSO Group only sells to governments, according to the report by Citizen Lab, a group of researchers based at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs.

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What’s Behind Rising Violence in Colima?: A Brief Look at 2016’s Most Violence Mexican State

expert I (2)The Expert Take, By Eric L. Olson & Gina Hinojosa

May 2017 was Mexico’s deadliest month on record.[1] 2,200 people were reportedly murdered nationwide that month, bringing the country’s death toll to nearly 10,000 since the beginning of the year. If the violence continues at this pace, 2017 will become Mexico’s most murderous year since the federal government began releasing homicide data in 1997, surpassing its previous annual homicide record of 23,000 murders in 2011.

Mexico has struggled with elevated violence for over a decade since the government launched an aggressive campaign against the country’s drug cartels in 2007. Deploying federal troops to communities particularly affected by drug violence has done little to stem criminal organizations’ drug trafficking operations[2] or curb violent crime. In fact, by 2011, Mexico’s murder rate had more than doubled, and while homicides declined moderately between 2012 and 2014, violence picked up once more in 2015 and has continued to rise since (see Figure 1).

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Rights Groups Plea for International Criminal Court Assessment of Coahuila, Mexico Case

7/7/2017 InSight Crime

crime sceneHuman rights organizations in Mexico are calling for the International Criminal Court to investigate alleged crimes against humanity in the state of Coahuila, once again raising questions over the court’s jurisdiction in cases of criminal violence and the impunity that surrounds it.

In a document compiled by the International Federation of Human Rights (Federación Internacional de Derechos Humanos – FIDH), 17 human rights groups present evidence that crimes committed in the north Mexico state of Coahuila between 2009 and 2016 amount to crimes against humanity that have not and will not be investigated in the country, and that as a result the International Criminal Court (ICC) should launch its own investigations.

Using interviews with victims, investigations into disappearances by both the state and human rights groups, along with reports, statements and articles from the media and international bodies, the report flags up three areas in which it argues the ICC would have jurisdiction.

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Spyware Sold to Mexican Government Targeted International Officials

7/10/2017 The New York Times

CreditRonaldo Schemidt/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

MEXICO CITY — A team of international investigators brought to Mexico to unravel one of the nation’s gravest human rights atrocities was targeted with sophisticated surveillance technology sold to the Mexican government to spy on criminals and terrorists.

The spying took place during what the investigators call a broad campaign of harassment and interference that prevented them from solving the haunting case of 43 students who disappeared after clashing with the police nearly three years ago.

Appointed by an international commission that polices human rights in the Americas, the investigators say they were quickly met with stonewalling by the Mexican government, a refusal to turn over documents or grant vital interviews, and even a retaliatory criminal investigation.

Now, forensic evidence shows that the international investigators were being targeted by advanced surveillance technology as well.

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