41 people dead in new wave of Mexican drug violence
An especially bloody week in the Mexican war on drugs left 41 people dead in five states, including the country’s relatively-safe capital city, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The most recent discovery was in San Luis Potosí, another area traditionally spared drug-related violence, where 14 men were found dead inside a truck near a gas station on a highway near the state capital.
Univision News also reported that federal and state troops got into a firefight Thursday that authorities think may be connected to the abandoned truck. The men found inside, they say, were probably taken from the northern state of Coahuila and were being taken to Zacatecas.
Similarly grisly stories came in from around the country this week: in Mexico City, another 11 people were killed in separate incidents, including a bar owner and five employees killed by a gang for not paying an extortion fee, a businessman shot outside his office, and four men shot during a street festival. In Acapulco, traditionally a favorite vacation spot, another five people were killed, including a pregnant woman and her three-year-old son, in a home assault. Seven ranchers in the state of Sinaloa were killed, and four women were found tortured and strangled to death in Torreon, Coahuila.
More than 50,000 people have been killed isince President Felipe Calderón pursued a crackdown on gangs in his regime, including 12,000 last year. Earlier this year, Calderón told the Wall Street Journal that drug-related violence in the country had dropped by 12 percent, the first such decline in eight years. A month later, he told the Spanish newspaper El País that the figure was between 15 and 20 percent.
Though Calderón’s predecessor, Vicente Fox, called on the country to legalize drugs in order to take power away from the cartels, president-elect Enrique Peña Nieto has said he is “not pursuaded by that argument,” though he has asked for the U.S. to join Mexico in a “new debate” on the issue.
Watch Univision News’ report on this week’s violence, aired Aug. 9 in Spanish, below: