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Politics

In pictures: Mexico's new drug war may be worse than old one

Updated : 2019-09-02 11:47:43

Mexico's drug war appears to be back — and it may be worse this time around than in the bloody years of the government's 2006-2012 offensive against drug cartels. Back then, the worst of the violence was confined to a few cities. Now it is spread out throughout the country. Once it was not uncommon for gangs to kill adults but leave children unharmed. Now, the killing of children alongside their parents has become all too frequent.

Perhaps the most disconcerting change: Bloody cartel violence outraged Mexicans and captured international attention for the drug war, which saw 27,000 homicides during its peak in 2011. Today, even though the number of Mexico's homicides soared to near 35,000 last year, the bloodshed seems to draw less attention and indignation. It has all left many Mexicans wondering which way to turn. That was evident this week in Coatzacoalcos, an oil industry city in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz where residents say gangs have been fighting over turf and extorting business owners with threats of violence. Late Tuesday, suspected members of the Jalisco cartel showed up at the Caballo Blanco nightclub, blocked its exits and set a fire that killed 28 people trapped inside, possibly because the owner had refused to stop selling drugs from another gang. (Source: AP)

In this June 2, 2019 file photo, the body of a bloodied man lies in the middle of a street where police and forensic workers secure the crime scene in Acapulco, Mexico. Mexico's drug war appears to be back, and it may be worse this time around than in the bloody years of the government's 2006-2012 offensive against drug cartels. Back then, the worst of the violence was confined to a few cities. Now it is spread throughout the country. (AP Photo/Bernardindo Hernandez, File)
In this June 2, 2019 file photo, the body of a bloodied man lies in the middle of a street where police and forensic workers secure the crime scene in Acapulco, Mexico. Mexico's drug war appears to be back, and it may be worse this time around than in the bloody years of the government's 2006-2012 offensive against drug cartels. Back then, the worst of the violence was confined to a few cities. Now it is spread throughout the country. (AP Photo/Bernardindo Hernandez, File)
Family members pay their last respects to Maria del Carmen Segovia Padua as they prepare to bury her alongside her aunt Zuleyma Hernandez Sanchez at the municipal cemetery in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz state, Mexico, Thursday, August 29, 2019. Mexico's President Andres Lopez Obrador insists his go-slow policies of reducing youth unemployment will eventually solve the root causes of violent crime better than declaring another frontal offensive against drug cartels. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Family members pay their last respects to Maria del Carmen Segovia Padua as they prepare to bury her alongside her aunt Zuleyma Hernandez Sanchez at the municipal cemetery in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz state, Mexico, Thursday, August 29, 2019. Mexico's President Andres Lopez Obrador insists his go-slow policies of reducing youth unemployment will eventually solve the root causes of violent crime better than declaring another frontal offensive against drug cartels. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
A grieving family member looks to the heavens as mourners bury Maria del Carmen Segovia Padua alongside her aunt Zuleyma Hernandez Sanchez at the municipal cemetery in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz state, Mexico, Thursday, August 29, 2019. The aunt and niece, who both worked as dancers at the White Horse night club, were among the more than two dozen staff and patrons killed Tuesday night when gang members set the club on fire after blocking the exits. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
A grieving family member looks to the heavens as mourners bury Maria del Carmen Segovia Padua alongside her aunt Zuleyma Hernandez Sanchez at the municipal cemetery in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz state, Mexico, Thursday, August 29, 2019. The aunt and niece, who both worked as dancers at the White Horse night club, were among the more than two dozen staff and patrons killed Tuesday night when gang members set the club on fire after blocking the exits. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Mourners carry the coffin that contain the remains of Erick Hernandez Enriquez, also known as DJ Bengala, who was killed in an attack on the White Horse nightclub where he was DJ'ing, as they bring him for burial at the municipal cemetery in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz state, Mexico, Thursday, August 29, 2019. At least seven of the more than two dozen victims were laid to rest in the municipal cemetery Thursday afternoon, in overlapping burials two days after gang members blocked the club's exits and set it on fire. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Mourners carry the coffin that contain the remains of Erick Hernandez Enriquez, also known as DJ Bengala, who was killed in an attack on the White Horse nightclub where he was DJ'ing, as they bring him for burial at the municipal cemetery in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz state, Mexico, Thursday, August 29, 2019. At least seven of the more than two dozen victims were laid to rest in the municipal cemetery Thursday afternoon, in overlapping burials two days after gang members blocked the club's exits and set it on fire. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Vanessa Galindo Blas grieves on the coffin that contains the remains of her late husband Erick Hernandez Enriquez, also known as DJ Bengala, who was killed in an attack on the White Horse nightclub where he was DJ'ing, as the family brings his body for burial in the municipal cemetery in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz state, Mexico, Thursday, August 29, 2019.
Vanessa Galindo Blas grieves on the coffin that contains the remains of her late husband Erick Hernandez Enriquez, also known as DJ Bengala, who was killed in an attack on the White Horse nightclub where he was DJ'ing, as the family brings his body for burial in the municipal cemetery in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz state, Mexico, Thursday, August 29, 2019. "We had talked about leaving here for somewhere safer, so our kids could have a better future," Galindo Blas said Thursday as she stretched her hands out over Erick's bare metal coffin. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Investigators work outside the White Horse nightclub, the scene of a Tuesday night attack that killed more than two dozen staff and patrons, in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz state, Mexico, Thursday, August 29, 2019. Anger is mounting among relatives of 28 people who died horrendously when gang members set the nightclub on fire after blocking its exits. The families complained that criminals are out of control and making life impossible in this southern Mexico oil town. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Investigators work outside the White Horse nightclub, the scene of a Tuesday night attack that killed more than two dozen staff and patrons, in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz state, Mexico, Thursday, August 29, 2019. Anger is mounting among relatives of 28 people who died horrendously when gang members set the nightclub on fire after blocking its exits. The families complained that criminals are out of control and making life impossible in this southern Mexico oil town. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
In this July 1, 2019 file photo, Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador greets supporters as he arrives at a rally to celebrate the one-year anniversary of his election, in Mexico City's main square, the Zocalo. Lopez Obrador's high approval ratings topped 70 percent in some polls nine months into his term. Many Mexicans are willing to give Lopez Obrador the benefit of the doubt as even the president acknowledges that violent crime is the most serious challenge he faces. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano, File)
In this July 1, 2019 file photo, Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador greets supporters as he arrives at a rally to celebrate the one-year anniversary of his election, in Mexico City's main square, the Zocalo. Lopez Obrador's high approval ratings topped 70 percent in some polls nine months into his term. Many Mexicans are willing to give Lopez Obrador the benefit of the doubt as even the president acknowledges that violent crime is the most serious challenge he faces. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano, File)
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