MEXICO CITY, Oct 21 (Reuters) - The number of homicides in Mexico fell for the third month running in September, official data shows, despite a spate of mass killings and shootouts.
Overall, the number of murders is still on track to surpass last year's record total of 29,000. The total during the first nine months of 2019 was 1.3% higher than in the same period a year earlier.
During September, Mexican authorities opened some 2,403 murder investigations, a decline of 7% from the same month in 2018, and the lowest monthly total since April, according to government figures published on Sunday. The months of July through September were the three most violent in 2018.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has struggled to live up to his campaign pledge to reduce gang violence that has plagued Mexico for well over a decade.
This month, Mexico has been roiled by a series of violent events, including the massacre of 13 police officers last Monday, the death of 15 people in a shootout a day later, and a major gunfight in the city of Culiacan on Thursday.
More than 200,000 people have been killed in the bloodletting since then-President Felipe Calderon sent in the armed forces to crack down on drug gangs at the end of 2006. (Reporting by Dave Graham; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Grant McCool)
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.