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Over 5,000 federal troops to tackle violent crime surge: Mexico

AFP | Mexico city |

More than 5,000 federal security forces are being deployed across Mexico this week as violent crime has surged in popular tourist areas such as Los Cabos and Cancun, the interior minister said on Wednesday.

The non-military forces will work to “swiftly reduce these levels of rising violence,” Interior Minister Alfonso Navarrete told reporters, noting that neither the army or navy was involved.

Topping the list of places the mostly federal police were reinforcing was the city of Tijuana in the northwest just south of the US city of San Diego and the popular Los Cabos resort area in Baja California Sur from Los Cabos to La Paz.

Cancun, the Caribbean coast resort that is Mexico’s top international tourist draw, has been hit with some disturbing violent crime in its metro area as well.

The states of Colima and Jalisco, and the city of Chilpancingo, which is Guerrero’s state capital and one of the country’s deadliest, will also see more troops.

Mexico is battling increasingly widespread violent crime linked to multiple factors. In 2017, more than 25,339 killings were reported, the worst since records began in 1997.

Since the federal government launched a huge multifront anti-drug operation in 2006, more than 200,000 people have been killed. Official figures do not specify how many are from organised crime such as drug cartels.