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11 people die in mass shootings in cartel-ridden region of Mexico amid wave of killings

Eleven people were killed Tuesday in mass shootings in a small town in Mexico’s southern state of Chiapas, the state attorney’s office said, marking at least the fourth massacre in that county in just one year. week.

The office said the shooting occurred in the town of Chicomuselo, an area known as a migrant and drug smuggling route that has been hit by cartel battles in recent months.

Security forces have launched patrols in the region near the border with Guatemala as part of efforts to find the perpetrators, officials said.

The town – as well as the outlying hamlet of Morelia, where the killings took place – are in a sparsely populated area near the Mexico-Guatemala border.

There were clashes between drug cartels in the area as recently as Monday, but at least some of the victims of Tuesday’s shootings appear to be ordinary residents of the city.

Chiapas attracts tourists with its lush jungle, indigenous communities and ancient Mayan ruins.

But the border area is gripped by violence as rival New Generation Cartels of Sinaloa and Jalisco battle for territory. Last month, masked men stopped a vehicle carrying Mexico’s leading presidential candidate, Claudia Sheinbaum, as she traveled between campaign stops to ask her to address the violence in Chiapas if she wins the June 2 election.

Mexican candidates face threats
Candidate Willy Ochoa’s security convoy, formed by National Guard patrols, state police and private security, leaves the municipality of Las Rosas, Chiapas, Mexico. May 6, 2024.

Victoria Razo for the Washington Post via Getty Images

Thousands of people have been displaced as cartels seek to control migrant, drug and arms smuggling routes and forcibly recruit the local population.

The bloodshed in Chiapas is at least the fourth massacre in Mexico in about a week. Officials said eight people died during a “downtown” weekend shoot in Mexico’s Morelos state, adjacent to Mexico City. Last Wednesday, nine bodies were found in a town in northern Mexico, in Zacatecas. This came just a day after nine more bodies were discovered on an avenue in the town of Fresnillo, also in Zacatecas state. Messages addressed to a criminal group were found with these remainsauthorities said.

Mexico has recorded more than 450,000 killings since the launch of a controversial military anti-drug operation in 2006, according to official figures.

AFP contributed to this report.


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