Sonora Murder Total Rises Sharply Over Last Year

Published: Thursday, July 25, 2019 - 4:24pm

The number of murders in Sonora, the Mexican state to Arizona’s south, rose sharply over the first half of 2019.

Through June, almost 600 people were murdered in Sonora, a nearly 70% jump from the same six months the year before. Countrywide, the number rose just 5%, according to recently released federal data.

In June alone, there were 164 murders, earning the state the fourth-highest Mexican murder rate.

“Authorities have said that one of the causes of the murders we’ve been seeing are the conflicts of organized crime members,” said Manuel Emilio Hoyos, head of the Sonoran Observatory for Security, a citizens group that works with state authorities on public safety policy.

Much of the violence is concentrated in major cities, especially Ciudad Obregon in southern Sonora, according to Hoyos.

Hoyos thinks that the recently deployed National Guard forces in Sonora could help the situation but are not enough on their own. State and local authorities need to develop their own plans to reduce the violence, he said.

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