On October 24, 2023, a series of armed confrontations swept through various regions of Mexico, resulting in the deaths of 24 individuals, several of whom were police officers. These incidents have intensified the ongoing concerns regarding safety in Mexico, particularly in areas plagued by drug cartel activities.
In the municipality of Coyuca de Benitez in Guerrero state, a yet-to-be identified group launched an attack on a security patrol. The aftermath revealed 13 casualties, of which 11 were members of the municipal police. Reports indicate that a high-ranking state security official was in the convoy that was attacked, but his condition after the attack remains unknown.
Simultaneously, in the neighboring state of Michoacan, another violent event unfolded. The brother of Tacambaro’s mayor was the main target of this assault. The repercussions of this strike were significant, with five individuals losing their lives. The victims included a restaurant worker, a police officer, and three other civilians. The mayor’s brother sustained injuries. Eyewitnesses captured the event, and a video was later uploaded on social media showing the assailants firing their weapons and fleeing in several vehicles.
In another episode in the state of Puebla, a skirmish erupted in the rural community of San Miguel Canoa, approximately 75 miles away from Mexico City. This fight, which reportedly involved alleged drug dealers, led to the deaths of six individuals, while two more suffered injuries.
Such episodes are becoming a frequent occurrence in Mexico. Since the 2006 decision by the government to involve the military in the drug war, Mexico has seen over 420,000 individuals murdered. The count of officers who have lost their lives in 2023 alone has risen to over 340, as stated by the non-profit group Causa en Comun.
Both Guerrero and Michoacan states have become synonymous with violent encounters between drug traffickers and security forces. This unrest extends beyond criminal groups and affects the political realm, particularly during electoral seasons. With the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections in Mexico next year, the rising violence is of significant concern.
Although Guerrero houses the famous coastal resort of Acapulco, it is one of the most impoverished states in Mexico. This economic discrepancy directly correlates with the increasing crime rates and violence in the area.
Since his election in 2018, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has championed a “hugs not bullets” approach, emphasizing addressing the underlying causes of crime, such as poverty and insufficient education. However, this approach is facing skepticism, with many believing it may not be enough to curb the surging violence and organized crime rates.