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Cartels, violence driving homicides, disappearances in Guadalajara

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Deadly violence has steadily risen in Mexico since the country launched an offensive against drug cartels and organized crime more than a decade ago.

The 33,753 homicide victims reported by Mexico’s public-security secretariat in 2018 set a record for the second year in a row. The 17,142 victims in the first half of this year likely mean 2019 will set a new mark. The homicide rate has risen every year since 2015, hitting 23.34 homicides per 100,000 people in 2018.

Read more: 400 murders a day: 10 reasons why Latin America is the world’s most violent place

The violence has long been concentrated in specific areas, especially border cities, but recent years have seen it both intensify and spread, with homicides and other violent crimes rising throughout the country.

Guadalajara, Mexico’s second-largest city and the capital of Jalisco state in the country’s southwest, has experienced this change. In an email interview, Guadalajara-based journalist Stephen Woodman explained what this grisly trend looks like, who’s behind it, and how it has affected residents there.

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