Mexico murder rate breaks record with more than 33,000 cases opened in 2018, statistics show

Homicide cases in Mexico rose by 33 percent in 2018, shattering the country’s record for the second consecutive year, newly-released government statistics show.

Information from the Interior Ministry revealed that investigators opened up 33,341 murder cases last year - more than 91 a day, almost four an hour; compared to 25,036 in 2017, according to Reuters.

The central state of Guanajuato – which has been struggling with turf wars amongst gangs – was said to be the hardest hit region, with 3,290 investigations in 2018, compared to 1,084 the year prior.

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On Sunday, three gunmen in Cancun shot seven people dead at a home in an apparent dispute between street-level drug dealers. State authorities said a suspected gang leader who has been linked to the Jalisco cartel was behind the killings, according to the Associated Press. The cartel from the Pacific coast has been trying to take over illegal activities in Cancun and resorts to the south.

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Rafael Murua Manriquez, 34, also on Sunday became the first Mexican journalist to be killed in 2019, according to Aztec Reports. His body was discovered on the side of a road in northern Mexico and was found dead despite being placed under Mexico’s journalist protection program since 2016. Initial reports, the website said, suggested that he was stabbed multiple times.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.