As Mexico takes down kingpins, pace of killings only accelerates

Dallas Morning News – Three years into the administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto, Mexico’s security situation remains tenuous — a worrisome sign for analysts and some U.S. intelligence agents, who cite corruption that continues with impunity; limited cooperation between the two countries; and a rising homicide rate. May was the worst month for violence since since October 2013, they say, and 2015 appears on track to surpass the estimated 20,000 drug-related homicides in 2014.

The upsurge in homicides is taking place against a backdrop of what government authorities call the fragmentation of cartels, from some nine major organizations to more than 80 smaller but highly militaristic criminal groups. While the cells are weaker, they also represent a bigger menace for the general population, authorities say. The result is even more kidnappings, and extortion of everyone from university professors to pet owners, whose beloved dogs and cats have been snatched and held for ranson.

“Perhaps drug organizations no longer threaten the state, at least not the way they once did,” said Alejandro Hope, security expert and editor of the Mexico City-based “But they do threaten millions of Mexicans in a much more direct way.

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