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Police dismantle a temporary road block in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz state, Mexico, July 1, 2017 (AP photo by Rebecca Blackwell).

What’s Behind Mexico’s Historic Spike in Violent Crime?

Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017

On July 20, more than 1,000 Mexican Marines and federal and local police descended on a southeastern suburb of Mexico City to try and capture a notorious, alleged drug cartel boss. In the clash that ensued, the Marines killed eight suspected drug traffickers from the Cartel de Tlahuac, including its reputed leader, Felipe de Jesus Perez Luna. In response, the cartel’s members hijacked and burned buses in the streets.

The operation put to rest a longstanding Mexican government narrative that the country’s drug cartels, present in the majority of Mexican states, do not operate in the capital. It has also become the most vivid image from what government statistics suggest will be the most violent year in Mexico since aggregate crime figures were first collected in 1997. ...

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