MEXICO CITY — The sight of vehicles set ablaze by cartels has mostly been confined to lawless stretches of Mexico’s provinces, so the appearance of burning buses in Mexico City last week has stoked fears that the drug gangs’ violence is spreading to the capital.
The so-called narco-blockade on Thursday July 20 in the tough Mexico City suburb of Tlahuac occurred after Mexican marines gunned down eight suspected gangsters in broad daylight, a highly unusual incident that underlined a recent spike in violent crime, according to Reuters.
“The city’s authorities have lost control of the situation,” said Jose, a veteran Mexico City policeman who spoke on the condition his surname be withheld.
“Now the cartels are getting stronger, they can’t control them any more. That’s why they asked the marines to come in.”
All told, 206 murder investigations were opened in Mexico City between May and June, making it the bloodiest two month-period on record in the capital, official data show.
Mexico City and its urban sprawl form the economic heart of the country, accounting for roughly a quarter of gross domestic product, according to the OECD, and the rise in violence is a major embarrassment for the Mexican government.
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