Mexico Hits Record Homicides for the Month of May — 2,186

A record number of murders were recorded in May 2017, according to Mexican officials. During May 2017, there were 2,186 homicides according to a report from the National Public Safety System. The statistic marks the highest number of homicides in a month since the country began keeping track 20 years ago.

The deadliest Mexican state was Guerrero, located in southwest Mexico, where 216 people were killed. Guerrero is a hotspot regarding Mexico’s narcotics trade. The beach resort city of Acapulco is the largest city in Guerrero. Violence in rural areas is a harsh contrast to violence in Acapulco, but gang violence among rival drug traffickers along the Guerrero coast where drugs arrived from South America and battles with the military have been noted since 2006.

Mexico’s Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil reported that the number of international flyers arriving in Acapulco decreased from 355,760 flyers in 2006 to 52,684 flyers in the year 2015, and the decrease was attributed to the area’s increase in narcotics trade-related violence. In the past decade, politicians were targeted by drug cartels.

On August 20, 2011, Mexican authorities reported that five headless bodies were found in Acapulco. Two decapitated and scalped bodies were found outside a Sam’s Club store in Acapulco, and three decapitated bodies were found in a main tourist strip in Acapulco. Two men and a woman were found decapitated and tied up in the back of an SUV near Acapulco beach.

An uptick in robberies and assaults in Acapulco led to a temporary walkout of local gas station attendants Friday, August 19, 2011 to protest the lack of security in the city.

In the western state of Sinaloa, 154 people were killed. Rival factions have been battling for control of the Sinaloa drug cartel since leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, was captured and extradited to the United States in January 2017.

Guerrero (includes Acapulco, Ixtapa, Taxco, and Zihuatanejo):Personal travel to the state of Guerrero, including Acapulco, is prohibited for U.S. government personnel with the exception of travel to Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo by air. In Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, U.S. government personnel must remain in tourist areas. The state of Guerrero was the most violent state in Mexico in 2015 for the third year in a row, and self-defense groups operate independently of the government in many areas of Guerrero. Armed members of these groups frequently maintain roadblocks and, although not considered hostile to foreigners or tourists, are suspicious of outsiders and should be considered volatile and unpredictable.
— Mexico Travel Warning, US Dept of State

Since Mexico started using the military to fight drug trafficking in 2006, more than 200,000 people are reported dead or missing. Rival cartels battle each other and the army. In rural areas cartels have paramilitary type security, where strangers are not trusted. The U.S. Department of State forbids most employees from traveling through rural areas.

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AP Archive from November 16, 2016: The upsurge in killings has made the once-glamourous resort city of Acapulco one of Mexico’s most violent communities.