May 2018 Marks Mexico’s Bloodiest in History


May 2018 became the bloodiest in the history of Mexico with 2,890 registered homicides nationwide.

According to recent information released by the Secretariado Ejecutivo del Sistema Nacional de Seguridad Pública (SEGOB), May also notched the second-most crime reports with a total of 163,562– surpassed only by October 2017 when 163,916 were registered.

The five states with the most murders were: Guanajuato (298); Baja California (263); Chihuahua (231); Guerrero (220); and the State of Mexico (210).

Monthly murder count for 2018

January: 2,550

February: 2,389

March: 2,746

April: 2,723

May: 2,890

Due to the spreading cartel violence, the Mexican government was forced to deploy the military to many major cities to include once peaceful popular beach resorts.

The record-breaking violence is attributed to numerous factors like the capture of key narco-bosses which caused the weakening (real or perceived) of criminal gangs/cartels and the resurgence and realignment of others, leading to fierce turf wars fighting for control of the lucrative street-level markets and valuable trafficking routes leading into the United States. The fracturing and realignment of criminal groups will often pit former allies against each other, causing a turf war amid the general public. Those involved in the killings are primarily low-level street dealers, lookouts, customers, and enforcers for these individual criminal gangs. Many of the street-level dealers are targets of rip-crews looking for quick cash and drugs.

With next month’s nationwide elections, many politicians–current or former– including political party members and family, became targets as criminal groups and organized crime attempting to exert their influence. Breitbart Texas reported on June 14 when the number reached 114 dead. A recent political assassination covered by Breitbart Texas was the execution-style murder of Fernando Puron Johnston, a former mayor and congressional candidate of the border city of Piedras Negras. As of June 21, the number reached 121 killed.

Another factor attributed to the spike in killings is cartels linked with fuel theft gangs known as “huachicoleros.” The tactic is a lucrative new source of revenue for traditional Mexican organized crime gangs which caused violent turf wars. Breitbart recently reported on “huachicoleros” after a former police commissioner and a commander were arrested for the kidnapping and execution-style murders of six officers.

Robert Arce is a retired Phoenix Police detective with extensive experience working Mexican organized crime and street gangs. Arce has worked in the Balkans, Iraq, Haiti, and recently completed a three-year assignment in Monterrey, Mexico, working out of the Consulate for the United States Department of State, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Program, where he was the Regional Program Manager for Northeast Mexico (Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Durango, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas.) You can follow him on Twitter. He can be reached at