Mexico breaks violence record in first quarter of 2019

Relatives of Cesar Hernandez and his son Santiago, victims of a shooting last Friday according to local news, carry their coffins during a service at the local baseball field in Minatitlan, Veracruz state, Mexico April 21, 2019. (REUTERS)
Updated 22 April 2019
0

Mexico breaks violence record in first quarter of 2019

  • Mexico has recorded nearly 250,000 murders since deploying the army, including last year’s record as the newly fragmented cartels battle the military and each other, with widespread collateral damage

MEXICO CITY: Violence in Mexico hit new heights in the first quarter of 2019, with 8,493 murders recorded from January to March, according to official figures.
According to the Executive Secretariat of the Public Security National System, that number represents a 9.6 percent rise on the same period in 2018.
Last year was considered the most violent in Mexico’s history, with over 33,500 murders — the highest number since records began in 1997.
The new record contradicts claims by leftist President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador that murders have not increased during his presidency, which began in December.
At a Navy event Sunday, Lopez Obrador defended the creation of a National Guard, his key strategy to fight the wave of violence that has engulfed Mexico since the government declared war on the country’s powerful drug cartels in 2006.
“What concerns us the most is guaranteeing public safety,” he said. “That is why a reform of the constitution was proposed so that the army and the navy can help us.”
The National Guard is due to take over policing duties given to the military.
Mexico has recorded nearly 250,000 murders since deploying the army, including last year’s record as the newly fragmented cartels battle the military and each other, with widespread collateral damage.
Lopez Obrador was a long-time critic of the deployment and vowed to end it, but since he assumed office it has continued.


India seizes one ton of ketamine on boat, arrests six Myanmar crew

Updated 22 September 2019

India seizes one ton of ketamine on boat, arrests six Myanmar crew

  • India’s coast guard seized $42 million worth of ketamine

NEW DELHI: India’s coast guard has arrested six Myanmar men and seized $42 million worth of ketamine after spotting a suspicious vessel in the Indian Ocean near the Nicobar Islands.
The 1,160-kilogram drug haul came after coast guard aircraft spotted the boat, which had its lights off, on Wednesday in India’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the defense ministry said in a statement.
The boat’s crew did not respond to radio calls and the coast guard eventually boarded it, with officials finding “57 gunny bundles of suspicious substance” on Friday.
“Preliminary analysis ... revealed that the suspicious substance was ketamine and there were 1,160 packets of 1kg each onboard the vessel,” the ministry added.
The six Myanmar men and cargo were taken to Port Blair, the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, where they were questioned by investigators.
They claimed they left Myanmar on September 14 and were due to rendezvous with another boat “operating near the Thailand-Malaysia maritime border line” on Saturday, the statement said.
The Nicobar Islands are located near Southeast Asia, off Myanmar’s coast.
Parts of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand are in the lawless “Golden Triangle” zone, the world’s second-largest drug-producing region after Latin America.
Large amounts drugs such as heroin and methamphetamine are churned out in remote jungle labs each year and smuggled across Asia and beyond.