In the Mexican southwestern state of Guerrero, 15 people were reportedly killed in a gunfight between security forces and armed civilians on October 15. According to Roberto Alvarez, the State Public Security Spokesman, 14 civilians and one soldier died in the shootout of Tepochica which is near Iguala city. The Mexico President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador defended his administration and security plan for fighting the violent crime that continues to engulf Mexico. A cartel gunman had reportedly killed 13 police officers as well mounting the number of killings to 28 in two days.
Guerrero and Michoacan are reportedly Mexico's two most violent and lawless states where rival drug gangs have battled to control smuggling routes to the Pacific and interior of the country. The Mexico president reportedly called the attack “deplorable” and defended his strategy to fight the drug-fueled violence that had plagued Mexico for years. His security plan is built around a new National Guard which will gradually take civilian police duties back from the military. He further pledged to fight crime at its roots by improving living standards for Mexico's poorest.
The Mexican president has been criticised for past efforts for taking a confrontational approach to battling crime. He claimed, "We're going to continue with our strategy. I'm optimistic, I believe we are going to achieve peace in this country... It's a process, we're moving forward”. President Obrador also created a militarized National Guard police force to contain the violence. However, many of the National Guard have instead been reportedly deployed to police Mexico's borders to placate US President Donald Trump. The Mexican President has also pledged to fight crime at its roots by improving living standards for Mexico's poorest. Approximately, 250,000 people have been murdered in Mexico since the army was deployed to the streets, including a record 33,749 last year. The country's homicide record stands at almost 23,063 murders as of August 2019.
(With agency inputs)