Homicides in Mexico spiked 22 percent in 2016 over the previous year, from 18,650 nationally to 22,932 last year, reports the San Diego Union-Tribune. That followed a three-year decline in homicides from 2012 to 2014, before rising again starting in 2015, according to an annual report on violence in Mexico issued by the University of San Diego’s Justice in Mexico program. Ater a brief period when the number of killings in Tijuana declined measurably, the border metropolis has seen a steady rise in killings and is the second-most violent city in Mexico.
A total of 871 homicides occurred in the city. Only the resort city of Acapulco had more, recording 918 murders last year. David Shirk, director of USD’s Justice in Mexico program, said the national increase can largely be attributed to a well-known cause: violence among drug cartels. “The biggest factor driving increased violence in Mexico is conflicts among organized crime groups,” Shirk said. “If we are going to solve this problem, we have to deal with organized crime.” He estimated that 30 percent to 50 percent of all homicides appear to be related to violence among drug gangs and organized crime.