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Mexico gunman executes 24 at rehab center in feud between gangs

Michael O'Boyle, Bloomberg News on

Published in News & Features

Heavily armed gunman attacked a drug rehabilitation center in central Mexico on Wednesday, killing 24 people in what appeared to be a revenge hit amid a feud between gangs.

Police said that in addition to the dead, seven were wounded at a rehabilitation center in Irapuato, Guanajuato, Reforma newspaper reported.

Mexico's government has been pursuing the Santa Rosa cartel linked to fuel theft in the state of Guanajuato, which President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Wednesday noted had one of the highest murder rates in the country. Lopez Obrador has seen his popularity fall as crime continues to rise amid a deep recession and pandemic.

Drug-related killings in June rose 8% and deaths have been hitting record highs, according to data from daily Milenio, even as the country remains paralyzed by the world's sixth-most deadly coronavirus outbreak.

Last Friday, the powerful Jalisco cartel is believed to have staged the highest profile assassination attempt in living memory in the Mexican capital, deepening concern about Lopez Obrador's strategy to focus on economic development over heavy handed law enforcement.

 

The Jalisco cartel is taking advantage of the weakness of the Santa Rosa Cartel after recent government actions, said Alejandro Roa, at security analysis firm Potomac. "This is a clear and direct challenge to the federal government," Roa said.

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