Mexican Catholic Church Decries Government Failure to Halt Murder Epidemic

The body of a man shot dead inside his car is removed from the vehicle by forensic personnel in Americana neighbourhood, in the turistic area of Guadalajara, Jalisco State, Mexico, on March 14, 2018. Mexico has suffered a wave of violence linked to drug trafficking that has intensified in recent …

Mexican Church leaders rebuked the leftist government for blaming past administrations for violence, when the current regime has failed to reduce the scores of murders carried out each day in the country.

The Archdiocese of Mexico City warned in a Palm Sunday editorial that the measures adopted by the new government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) to combat the wave of violence in the country “are not enough” and demanded that it not dodge the issue by trying to pin the blame on past leaders.

“Insecurity and corruption have become the two main battles of the new government and society, however, it seems that the actions taken so far are not enough,” the archdiocese said in its official newspaper, Desde la Fe. The average number of murders committed each day in Mexico now exceeds 90.

Palm Sunday is “the ideal time to pause along the way, evaluate our actions and reconcile with God,” the archdiocese said.

“Lent comes to an end this Sunday, and with it the most important season of the year for interior conversion, because it prepares us for the feast of the Resurrection of the Lord,” the letter states. “Motivated by this time, we make an invitation to the government officials, politicians, and all the authorities who watch over our security to reflect on the situation that our country is experiencing, and the actions that are being carried out to face this scourge.”

“Behind every act of violence there is a history that gave rise to it, and that, both government and society, we are not attending correctly,” it declared.

“The future of the country is in our hands, and requires us to take firm actions from our respective trenches, starting with ourselves,” it said.

In the last few years, Mexico has experienced a steep increase in lethal violence and 2018 was reportedly the most violent year in Mexico in two decades, with a registered 33,369 homicides, or an average of 91.4 murders per day.

Nonetheless, 2019 has started even worse and is currently on track to break the record reached during the last year in office of president Enrique Peña Nieto.

According to official figures, there have already been 11,728 murders committed in Mexico during the administration of López Obrador, which local media have labeled an “ignominious milestone” for the country.

Mr. López Obrador came to power by vowing to solve the serious security problem that had plagued the administrations of his predecessors, yet so far, statistics suggest that under his government Mexico is bloodier than under his predecessor of the PRI party.

The Mexican president has said on several occasions that homicide figures have not increased, a claim belied by the official data released by his own government.

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