The Mexican newspaper Milenio finds that July was the bloodiest month in the country since President Felipe Calderón took office in December 2006. According to Milenio, 854 people were killed in narco-violence in the country in July alone. Hardest hit is Ciudad Juárez, where 250 people were killed in July. Between January and July 4,300 people were killed in drug-related violence in Mexico, compared to 2,651 killed in the same period in 2008. By government figures, over 7,700 have been killed in drug-related violence since 2006, but Milenio said the actual figure was closer to 13,000. Milenio also found that kidnapping has increased by 154% over 5 the past five years.
Federal authorities also announced the arrest of 34 police officers suspected of collaboration with the Gulf Cartel in Tabasco state. In a major operation in Sinaloa, federal agents arrested 17 suspected narcos, destroyed two clandestine landing strips, burned 208 marijuana plants, and liberated a kidnapped youth, the Prosecutor General’s office said. (Milenio, AFP, Aug. 3, 2009; Cronica de Hoy, Aug. 2; Milenio, July 31) 208
The home of the police commander of the port city of Veracruz, Jesús Antonio Romero, was set on fire by unknown gunmen in the wee hours of July 29, killing him and his family. Romero had just recently been appointed operations chief for the joint police force for Veracruz and neighboring Boca del Rio. Romero’s 8-year-old son and three teenage daughters perished in the blaze, as did his wife. (AP, July 29)