All quotes delayed a minimum of 15 minutes. The security situation varies widely across Mexico’s different regions and even within individual states. Just over 34,600 murders were logged in Mexico in all of last year. But those dynamics would account for only a tiny percentage of the overall violence ravaging the country. The family itself is the religious community, and family members are its leaders. For example, in the killings of the Mormon families, there appears to have been no real local police presence. Reporting by Anthony Esposito and Dave Graham; Editing by Lisa Shumaker. Authorities and the victims’ families do not yet know the motive of the crime. That means creating police forces that can investigate crimes, appointing (and protecting) strong prosecutors to present cases that hold up in court and weeding out corrupt judges. Violent drug cartels are most active along much of the border with the United States, and along the Pacific Coast. That is one part of the problem, but that is a long-term policy. “The army will need to be brought in,” said Tirado, even as he acknowledged it will not likely contain the growth of sophisticated actors like CJNG or new rounds of deadly shootouts. The police forces need to be effective at all levels in Mexico’s federal system. There has not been any serious response to the Mexican complaint. Are violent drug cartels, and the risk of violence, equally divided in Mexico’s states? But many of the victims’ relatives told us about the peaceful environment they have experienced there. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has said he would focus his crime-fighting strategy on addressing the problem at its roots, by investing in social development programs and initiatives that alleviate poverty. Some family members worry that maybe their community is being targeted, but they do not yet know why, or the full details of what happened. While the state does need more and better-trained security forces to protect citizens, there are many questions about what else these forces could do. But the tactic helped to fragment monolithic criminal enterprises primarily focused on drug trafficking into an array of groups that are more violent and uncontrollable. If so, how would it go about doing that?— Juana, Los Angeles. But this approach could take years to work — if it works at all. Just over 34,600 murders were logged in Mexico in all of last year. Why is the violence getting worse? There were a total of 26,037 murders in Mexico in 2012. Yes, it is safe for Americans to travel in most parts of Mexico, although tourists should exercise caution, just as they would in some parts of the United States. The government has arrested many kingpins, but that has only increased the violence because organizations have fractured into smaller groups led by more ruthless lieutenants. “We won’t let them intimidate us,” he said. What can the United States do to prevent this from happening? We asked readers their questions about the killings and the escalating violence in Mexico. Is there a real chance Mexico cracks down on the cartels because of all the recent violence? What needs to happen to reduce violence in Mexico?— Ryan Gittler, Brick, N.J. Our reporters — Elisabeth Malkin and Kirk Semple in Mexico City and Elizabeth Dias in Washington — have answered a selection. Mexico Prevalence Data on Different Forms of Violence against Women: Lifetime Physical and/or Sexual Intimate Partner Violence : 24.6 % Physical and/or Sexual Intimate Partner Violence in the last 12 months : … Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles. See here for a complete list of exchanges and delays. The mainstream Mormon Church and the fundamentalist sect? Security camera footage showed heavily armed and mostly hooded cartel hit men pouring out of a truck after blocking the roadway and unleashing hundreds of rounds on Garcia Harfuch’s armored SUV. Some, however, offered a contrarian view. As old political power structures make way for new ones, cooperation between corrupt officials and criminal groups falls apart, spurring violent struggles for new cooperative arrangements. The gangs’ firepower is extraordinary, and it almost all comes from the United States. The victims’ extended family that lives in La Mora, their community in northern Mexico, is an independent fundamentalist Mormon group, meaning they are not affiliated with a specific church or prophet. These gangs are not an army with a fixed position that can be attacked. The victims’ families are not affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the mainstream church headquartered in Utah, but a church spokesman said it was “heartbroken” to hear about the tragedy. That was a drop of 2.2% compared to 2019. There is broad agreement on several steps that Mexico needs to take if the government is ever going to turn the tide. A few parts of the country, like Mérida, the capital of Yucatán state, are considered to be as safe as Europe. Is it safe for Americans to travel to Mexico?— Anonymous. They live and operate in communities. The increase in violence is nationwide. Last year, a quarter of all murders in the country were concentrated in five cities: Tijuana and Ciudad Juárez on the U.S. border, and Cancún, Acapulco … The National Guard and the Army took several hours to reach the area, which is very remote, after the families alerted the authorities. Right now, the authorities have simply been reacting to outbreaks of violence after they happen. A longstanding strategy of the Mexican government’s fight against organized crime was to go after kingpins, on the theory that cutting off the head of a criminal group would wither the body. The victims were part of one extended family, which emigrated from the United States to the region decades ago as part of a diaspora of families that call themselves Mormon but are no longer affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Follow the @ReaderCenter on Twitter for more coverage highlighting your perspectives and experiences and for insight into how we work. Mexico’s current president has emphasized social policies and job creation that will dissuade young people from joining gangs. Mexico in late March began imposing restrictions to curb the coronavirus outbreak, a development that … Does the increase in violence have to do with the increase in migrants that are waiting in Mexico to come to the U.S.?— Anonymous. The hyper-violent Jalisco New Generation Cartel, or CJNG, was quickly fingered as the probable culprit by the wounded target of the attack, Mexico City security head Omar Garcia Harfuch, in a message tapped out on his phone shortly after the shooting, likely from his hospital bed. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador pledged to bring down gang-fueled violence afflicting Mexico when he took office in December 2018, but homicides hit a record level in 2019 and have continued to climb even during the coronavirus lockdown. The situation varies drastically across the country. The grisly crime wave will likely apply new pressure on the president to change tack. Indiscriminate mass arrests by soldiers will just fill prisons with people who will eventually be released for a lack of evidence against them. How is the church reacting? The 38-year-old Garcia Harfuch - who was shot in the shoulder, collarbone and knee during the attack - defiantly pledged to keep working. A note to readers who are not subscribers: This article from the Reader Center does not count toward your monthly free article limit. The discovery of two dismembered bodies in downtown Mexico City, the most recent in a series of violent acts, contradicts official declarations denying the presence of organized crime in the capital and reveals details about the city’s new criminal dynamics. In October 2017, Mexico suffered its deadliest month since it started keeping such data in 1997, with 2,371 murder investigations.