Murders in Mexico rose nearly 10 percent in the first quarter of 2019, led in large part by mayhem in border cities and tourist destinations, the Dallas Morning News reports. Recent massacres span from Veracruz to Guadalajara and across Tamaulipas, where Reynosa is a critical crossing point for U.S.-Mexico trucking business. The rising violence not only complicates the young presidency of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who campaigned on a public-safety platform, but also for American businesses, border cities, and tourists — not to mention the large numbers of asylum-seeking migrants headed for the U.S. border or returned to Mexico to wait out the backlog in immigration cases.
Ieva Jusionyte, assistant professor at Harvard’s Department of Anthropology and author of Threshold: Emergency Responders on the U.S. Border, said Mexico is “so saturated with weapons,” the majority of them from Texas-based stores, “that criminals have no problem finding” AK-47s and other weapons anywhere in Mexico. Jusionyte, who said she is researching what American arms are doing to Mexican lives during the decades-old drug war, said official estimates show about 200,000 weapons, mostly from the U.S., enter Mexico annually. This year’s jump in murders follows 2018’s 33,341 murders nationwide in Mexico, the most violent year in the country’s modern history.