Two Pueblos Mágicos in Guanajuato are fighting to keep the magic alive amid a precarious security situation in the state.
The magical towns of Yuriria and Jalpa de Cánovas (in the municipality of Purísima del Rincón) have both suffered from violence recently and their respective mayors agree that the situation is alarming.
But Salomón Carmona and Marco Antonio Padilla Gómez are fighting back by taking action to guarantee the safety of residents and visitors.
Carmona described the security situation in Yuriria as a “disaster,” telling the newspaper Milenio that armed men recently entered a hospital in the municipality to “finish off” a man they had presumably attacked earlier.
“. . . The scourge of society is that crime is not just in this municipality and not just in Guanajuato, it’s in the entire republic,” he said.
“We’re doing our part to attend to citizens. We’d gone almost two months without a problem on that level,” Carmona added, referring to the hospital shooting.
Yuriria was the second most violent Pueblo Mágico in Guanajuato last year, recording 74 homicides. Only Salvatierra was more violent, with 93 murders.
In Purísima del Rincón, where there were 15 homicides in 2018, Padilla said that police are carrying out additional operations to combat organized crime groups.
“. . . Before they only did one or two [operations] a week, now we’ve increased them, especially on weekends when the [security] situation is worse,” he said.
The seven magical towns in Guanajuato are key tourist attractions in the state and authorities hope that visitor numbers will be strong during Holy Week, which begins on Sunday.
Federal, state and municipal authorities are contributing to a statewide security operation that began yesterday.
Guanajuato used to be considered one of the safest states in Mexico but violence has soared in recent years and in 2018 it recorded the highest number of homicides in the country.
Much of the violence is believed to be linked to pipeline petroleum theft and a related turf war between the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG).