Saturday, May 15

Mexico violence: Gunmen kill six at wake in Morelos

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image captionThere have been a series of deadly shootings in Cuernavaca over the past year (file photo)

Gunmen have killed at least six people in an attack on mourners at a wake in the Mexican city of Cuernavaca.

The armed men fired more than 60 shots at a group of people gathered to mourn the death of a youth who was killed in a motorcycle accident.

Police said the possible motive for the attack was not known but that the wake was held in a neighbourhood with a high crime rate.

It is the latest in a series of mass shootings in the city this year.

Rise in murders

It came just hours after Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said in his state of the nation address that murders and extortion by organised crime gangs had increased since he came to power.

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A police search for those behind Tuesday’s shooting has so far not led to any arrests.

Local media report that four people died at the wake and one more on the way to hospital. Fifteen more people were injured in the attack, which occurred at 22:35 local time (03:35 GMT).

Among those injured are two children.

Last month, six people were shot dead when gunmen opened fire on a group who had gathered to have a drink in a street in Cuernavaca. The motive of that attack is not clear either.

Earlier this year, the bishop of Morelos, Ramón Castro Castro, said that the state had been “overrun” by crime.

Crime figures for the state shot up last year – a 35% rise in murders, a 68% increase in kidnappings and 363% more extortions compared to 2018, official figures suggest.

Security analysts say the spike in violence is to blame on a battle for control of the state between five warring crime gangs.

President López Obrador said that his government was combating the causes of crime by “providing work, education and welfare for people who are at risk of being recruited by criminal groups, especially the young”.

But official figures suggest that across Mexico murders have been on the rise again this year after reaching a record high in 2019.

There were 20,494 registered murders in the first seven months of 2020, compared with 19,357 in the same period of 2018.

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Related Topics

  • Mexico

  • Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador

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