by PETER ORSI and LISA MARTINE JENKINS, Associated Press
A soldier and police stand guard outside at a private school in Monterrey, Mexico, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2016. A 15-year-old student opened fire with a gun at the school, hitting a teacher and two other students in the head before killing himself. (AP Photo/Emilio Vazquez)
MEXICO CITY (AP) May was Mexico’s bloodiest month in at least 20 years and homicides are up sharply in 2017 compared with last year, new government crime statistics show.
Statistics published Tuesday by the Interior Department said 2,186 people were murdered last month. The previous monthly high was 2,131 in May 2011, according to a review of publicly available records that date back to 1997. During the first five months of 2017, there were 9,916 killings nationwide an increase of about 30 percent over the 7,638 slain during the same period last year.
“Pretty grim. Not shocking, because we’ve seen this for months,” Mexican security analyst Alejandro Hope said. “But, yeah, it’s really grim.”
Mexico launched a militarized offensive over a decade ago to combat drug cartels that plague parts of the country. Homicides fell somewhat after peaking in 2011 but have risen again. At the state level, Baja California Sur saw the biggest jump in the first five months of 2017. After registering 36 killings during the same period in 2016, that spiked by 369 percent to 169 this year.
There were also significant increases in Veracruz (93 percent), Quintana Roo (89 percent) and Sinaloa (76 percent). On Wednesday, Veracruz Gov. Miguel Angel Yunes said at a news conference that seven bags containing two dismembered bodies had been left outside the personal office of the state security chief Tuesday night. Armed men had also attacked three workers hanging a billboard with photographs and a reward offered for area criminal suspects. Hope said the violence is being driven in part by “the weakening of the Sinaloa drug cartel” whose top boss, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, was extradited to face drug charges in the United States earlier this year. Hope also noted “the parallel rise of the Jalisco (New Generation) cartel.”
In Baja California Sur in particular, Hope said, a Sinaloa faction is battling for control both against rivals within the cartel and externally against Jalisco. Hope also cited increased heroin trafficking, difficulties implementing a new criminal justice system and insufficient federal police response to the crime surge.
Total homicides for the January-May period declined from 2016 in just four states Campeche, Coahuila, Mexico State and Nuevo Leon and nowhere did the drop exceed 6 percent.
Associated Press writer Lev Garcia in Xalapa contributed to this report.
Peter Orsi on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Peter_Orsi
The gate at NAS Pensacola.(Photo: Special to the News Journal)
The U.S. Coast Guard will relocate two 210-foot medium endurance cutters to Pensacola Naval Air Station no later than Aug. 31, 2018.
“This is incredible news for Pensacola and for all Northwest Floridians,” said U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, who announced the move in a news release Friday. “Not only is Northwest Florida gaining 152 new families, but the safety and security of the Emerald Coast and the Eastern Gulf of Mexico is significantly enhanced.”
The crews of the Coast Guard Cutter Decisive, a 210-foot cutter based in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and the Coast Guard Cutter Dauntless, a 210-foot cutter based in Galveston, Texas, will relocate to Pensacola. Each cutter boasts a crew of 76 coast guardsmen who conduct a variety of Coast Guard missions, including counter drug enforcement, alien migration interdiction operations, search and rescue and maritime law enforcement. The cutters will be home-ported at Pensacola Naval Air Station, along with Coast Guard Cutter Cypress, a 225-foot Seagoing Buoy Tender, which is currently home-ported at NAS Pensacola.
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What happened at the motel?
The newest trailer for Kathryn Bigelow s anticipated drama Detroit reveals more of the story, which is based on true events that took place during the 1967 Detroit race riots. John Boyega s security guard, seemingly a passive, observing figure in the first trailer, takes the spotlight here, standing accused of a murder he did not commit by detectives hiding the actions of unhinged police officers.
Boyega plays Melvin Dismukes, a black security guard trying to stay uninvolved with the escalating tensions and riots that plagueed Detroit after police clashed with the black community in the 1967 12th Street Riot. But he hears gunshots at the nearby Algiers Motel and he discovers three black men killed by police and nine other people (seven black men and two white women) brutally beaten. Dismukes is taken into an interrogation room, where the detectives grill him on the gun that he keeps on his person and try to pin the deaths on him. The trailer flashes back and forth between Dismukes interrogation and the night of the violence, in which Will Poulter s officer threatens the group at the motel and Dismukes whispers to one of the black men, I need you to survive the night. Here s the brief official synopsis for Detroit below:
From the Academy Award winning director of THE HURT LOCKER and ZERO DARK THIRTY, DETROIT tells the gripping story of one of the darkest moments during the civil unrest that rocked Detroit in the summer of 67.
The story is based on the true experiences of Melvin Dismukes, a former security guard who describes his side of the story in an accompanying featurette.
To turn around and get charged with first-degree murder, it hurt, Dismukes said. The featurette explores the racial powder keg that was Detroit in the 1960s, leading up to the Algiers Motel incident. Members of the Detroit Police Department, the Michigan State Police, and the Michigan Army National Guard were sent to the motel after reports that a gunman or group of gunmen had been seen in the vicinity and the night ended the three deaths and nine beatings. Three officers and Dismukes were charged with assault, conspiracy, murder, and conspiracy to commit civil rights abuse. The cast of Detroit is rounded out by Algee Smith, Jacob Latimore, Jason Mitchell, Hannah Murray, Kaitlyn Dever, Jack Reynor, Ben O Toole, Joseph David Jones, Ephraim Sykes, Leon Thomas III, Nathan Davis Jr., Peyton Alex Smith, Malcolm David Kelley, Gbenga Akinnabve, Chris Chalk, Jeremy Strong, Laz Alonzo, Austin Hebert, Miguel Pimentel, Kris Davis, with John Krasinski and Anthony Mackie.
Detroit hits theaters August 4, 2017.
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