Mexico marks deadliest day amid coronavirus lockdown
Mexico has recorded its deadliest day this year, official data showed Monday, with 105 murders the previous day amid the government-imposed quarantine to combat the spread of COVID-19.
Sunday's toll exceeded the latest high of 104 people on April 4, 2020, federal data showed. "We are addressing the issue of the coronavirus, but unfortunately we continue to have problems with homicides," President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, known as AMLO, acknowledged Monday in his morning briefing.
The data, collected by state prosecutors offices and federal agencies, showed the State of Mexico (center) had the highest number of intentional homicides, with 12; Chihuahua (northwest) with 10, while Mexico City, Guanajuato (center) and Oaxaca (south) reported nine each. Since the health protection measures took effect in mid-March, violence certainly has not slowed in Mexico, which in 2019 recorded 34,608 murders, a record number since 1997.
The 2019 toll is the equivalent to an average of almost 95 intentional homicides per day in Mexico -- a country affected by a wave of increasing violence since the end of 2006, when the fight against drug trafficking was militarized. Since then, a staggering almost 275,000 people have been killed, according to official data that do not detail how many of these cases would be linked to organized crime.
AMLO, a leftist-populist who took office in December 2018, maintains that violence will be less when poverty, social exclusion and lack of opportunities are fought, and the use of force against criminals is reduced.
"Once we get through this difficult situation," he said, referring to the pandemic, "we are going to give (the criminals) options, alternatives so that they can rejoin public life, be good people."
Mexico's Congress is scheduled to discuss on Monday an Amnesty Law that AMLO is seeking. It would pardon, among others, drug traffickers with relatively minor offenses.