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Mexico Averaged 4 Murders An Hour In May, Its Highest Recorded Homicide Rate Ever
The steady increase in deadly violence that Mexico has experienced over the past three years continued in May when 2,890 people were killed — an average of 93 a day, or almost four victims an hour.
The total number of victims surpasses the 2,746 recorded in March to make May the deadliest month this year, and it topped the 2,750 victims registered in October, making May the deadliest month in two decades, the period for which the government has released homicide data.
There were also 2,530 homicide cases opened in May. Cases can contain more than one victim, and May's total was the most in a month this year and the most on record. The daily average of 93.2 homicide cases was also an increase over April when it was 90.7 cases a day.
Christopher Woody/Business Insider
Deadly violence in Mexico has steadily increased since 2015, after declining during the first two full years of President Enrique Peña Nieto's term, which started in December 2012.
There were 7,167 homicide victims during the first five months of 2015, which closed with 17,892 victims. There were 8,364 victims between January and May 2017, increasing to 22,569 by the end of that year.
2017 had 10,988 homicide victims during the first five months and ended with 28,710 victims, which was a record for a full year.
There were 13,298 homicide victims recorded in the first five months of 2018, putting the year on pace for 31,915 killings.
The homicide rate between January and May this year was 9.17 cases per 100,000 people, a 75% increase over the 5.25 cases during the same period in 2015, according to Mexican news site Animal Politico.
"We are nearing a level of 100 homicides a day in the country, and with an upward trend, we still don't see a break," Mexican security analyst Alejandro Hope said on Thursday on radio show Atando Cabos.
In March, Peña Nieto reached 104,583 officially reported homicide cases under his tenure, surpassing his predecessor, Felipe Calderon, who had 102,859 homicides during his six-year term. Calderon deployed the military around the country to combat organized crime, which many credit with driving violence in Mexico up.
Much of the increase since 2015 has been attributed to organized crime, especially in areas where organized-crime groups are clashing or where larger criminal groups have fragmented into smaller factions.
Such fragmentation often leads to more violence as smaller groups compete with each other. Those groups are also more likely to prey local populations, adding to insecurity.
Colima, one of Mexico's smallest states by population, is also its most violent, with a rate of 33.17 homicide cases per 100,000 people through May this year.
The state, located on the Pacific coast, is believed to be contested by elements of the Sinaloa and Jalisco New Generation cartels. The 298 homicide victims there during the first five months of 2018 were a slight increase over the 281 over the same period last year.
Baja California, which borders the U.S. in northwest Mexico, was also the most violent among Mexico's 32 states, with a homicide rate of 29.47 per 100,000 people. Much of that bloodshed has taken place in Tijuana, which borders San Diego.
Airmen with the 177th Civil Engineer Squadron guide a 1,400 pound panel into place along the United States-Mexico border, Aug. 22, 2007.Air National Guard/Tech Sgt. Mark Olsen
Tijuana had 975 of the state's 1,218 homicide victims during the first five months of the year; the head of the rapid reaction police force in Rosarito, a town near Tijuana, was found slain in Tijuana on the morning of June 20.
Chihuahua, another northern border state, had a rate of 17.16 homicides per 100,000 people, and the 801 homicide victims there between January and May were an increase over the 752 during the same period last year.
"Chihuahua caught my attention a lot in May. It's back in the top 5. Something also happened in Ciudad Juarez," Hope said, referring to the state's major border city, which was the site of extreme drug-related violence between 2008 and 2012.
"Baja California is also already above the levels it had in 2007," Hope added, referring to a period of heightened violence there a decade ago.
Growing violence around Mexico's most popular tourist areas has been a source of concern in recent months.
In Quintana Roo, home to Cancun and Playa del Carmen, the number of homicide victims increased from 100 during the first five months of 2017 to 252 over that period this year.
In Baja California Sur, where Los Cabos is located, the number of homicide victims declined from 247 through May last year to 119 during the first five months of 2018.
Other signs of growing insecurity were also evident in the crime data released this week.
Femicides, or killings that specifically target women, have consistently increased over the past three years. The 328 femicides recorded through May were over 100% more than the 153 over the same period in 2015.
While reports of kidnapping and extortion were down slightly over the first five months of the year, there was a 22% increase in violent car thefts and a 39% increase in street-level drug dealing.
Homicide data for May was released 10 days before Mexicans vote in nationwide elections on July 1, in which 3,400 elected offices are up for grabs, including the presidency.
The increasing violence — which exists alongside and is often exacerbated by widespread corruption among law enforcement and rampant impunity for many crimes — has hung over the presidential campaign, even as the candidates have offered few specifics about how they would address it.
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'It just happened' — the Iraq War’s first living Medal of Honor recipient recalls his harrowing fight against 5 insurgents
On Nov, 10, 2004, Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia knew that he stood a good chance of dying as he tried to save his squad.
Bellavia survived the intense enemy fire and went on to single-handedly kill five insurgents as he cleared a three-story house in Fallujah during the iconic battle for the city. For his bravery that day, President Trump will present Bellavia with the Medal of Honor on Tuesday, making him the first living Iraq war veteran to receive the award.
In an interview with Task & Purpose, Bellavia recalled that the house where he fought insurgents was dark and filled with putrid water that flowed from broken pipes. The battle itself was an assault on his senses: The stench from the water, the darkness inside the home, and the sounds of footsteps that seemed to envelope him.
With the Imperial Japanese Army hot on his heels, Oscar Leonard says he barely slipped away from getting caught in the grueling Bataan Death March in 1942 by jumping into a choppy bay in the dark of the night, clinging to a log and paddling to the Allied-fortified island of Corregidor.
After many weeks of fighting there and at Mindanao, he was finally captured by the Japanese and spent the next several years languishing under brutal conditions in Filipino and Japanese World War II POW camps.
Now, having just turned 100 years old, the Antioch resident has been recognized for his 42-month ordeal as a prisoner of war, thanks to the efforts of his friends at the Brentwood VFW Post #10789 and Congressman Jerry McNerney.
McNerney, Brentwood VFW Commander Steve Todd and Junior Vice Commander John Bradley helped obtain a POW award after doing research and requesting records to surprise Leonard during a birthday party last month.
Hundreds of Marines will join their British counterparts at a massive urban training center this summer that will test the leathernecks' ability to fight a tech-savvy enemy in a crowded city filled with innocent civilians.
The North Carolina-based Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, will test drones, robots and other high-tech equipment at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center near Butlerville, Indiana, in August.
They'll spend weeks weaving through underground tunnels and simulating fires in a mock packed downtown city center. They'll also face off against their peers, who will be equipped with off-the-shelf drones and other gadgets the enemy is now easily able to bring to the fight.
It's the start of a four-year effort, known as Project Metropolis, that leaders say will transform the way Marines train for urban battles. The effort is being led by the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, based in Quantico, Virginia. It comes after service leaders identified a troubling problem following nearly two decades of war in the Middle East: adversaries have been studying their tactics and weaknesses, and now they know how to exploit them.
WASHINGTON/RIYADH (Reuters) - President Donald Trump imposed new U.S. sanctions onIran on Monday following Tehran's downing of an unmanned American drone and said the measures would target Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Trump told reporters he was signing an executive order for the sanctions amid tensions between the United States and Iran that have grown since May, when Washington ordered all countries to halt imports of Iranian oil.
Trump also said the sanctions would have been imposed regardless of the incident over the drone. He said the supreme leaders was ultimately responsible for what Trump called "the hostile conduct of the regime."
"Sanctions imposed through the executive order ... will deny the Supreme Leader and the Supreme Leader's office, and those closely affiliated with him and the office, access to key financial resources and support," Trump said.
While it can be difficult to peg down just how star-spangled a state is, one indicator is the rate at which citizens enlist in the military, especially during the United States' longest period of sustained conflict. At least, that's the thinking behind WalletHub's new study, 2019's Most Patriotic States in America.