Three separate armed attacks occurred in Mexico on Monday, resulting in at least 22 fatalities, including 12 police officers, in various regions of the country.
In the largest attack, unidentified assailants targeted a security patrol in Guerrero state’s municipality of Coyuca de Benitez. Preliminary information suggests that 11 members of the municipal police force were killed. The motive for the massacre is under investigation.
In Michoacan, a group of gunmen attacked the brother of the mayor of Tacambaro, leaving five dead and two injured, including the mayor’s brother.
In Puebla, a gunfight between alleged drug dealers in the community of San Miguel Canoa resulted in at least six dead and two wounded.
Mexico has faced ongoing violence and cartel-related bloodshed, with over 420,000 people killed since the government’s war on drugs deployment in 2006. The country’s murder rate has tripled to 25 per 100,000 inhabitants since then.
Guerrero and Michoacan are among the most violent areas, with confrontations between rival drug traffickers and security forces.
Violence, particularly targeting low-level officials, often escalates in the run-up to elections, with presidential and parliamentary polls set to be held next year.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has advocated for a “hugs not bullets” strategy to address violent crime by addressing poverty and inequality through social programs, rather than relying on the military.