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Attack In Central Mexico Raises Concerns; President Blames Local Authority

MEXICO CITY — In central Mexico, shooters killed at least 26 people on Wednesday. Drug-related violence has escalated in the region, and the Mexican president says local authorities are the ones to blame. 

Irapuato is a city located in the state of Guanajuato, a hub for many automakers in Mexico. 

But the region has also become a disputed area among drug cartels.

On Wednesday, an armed group attacked a facility registered as a rehab center. It’s the second attack in Irapuato in a month and one of the largest massacres in Mexico during the Andrés Manuel López Obrador administration.

Since López Obrador took power in late 2018, violence has escalated in Mexico. Homicides hit a record-high last year.

And as Guanajuato’s governor promises to investigate the attacks, the president blames local authorities for the increase of violence from organized crime.

Rodrigo Cervantes is KJZZ’s bureau chief in Mexico City, where he was born and raised. He has served as opinion writer, contributor and commentator for several media outlets and organizations in Mexico and the United States, including CNN, Georgia Public Broadcasting and Univisión. Cervantes previously worked as the business editor and editorial coordinator for El Norte, the leading newspaper in Monterrey and a publication of Grupo Reforma, Mexico’s premier news group. In Mexico City, Cervantes served in Reforma as a reporter, special correspondent, editor and special sections coordinator. Cervantes also held the editor position at MundoHispánico, a division of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Georgia’s oldest and largest Latino newspaper. He also participated as one of the first members of the Diversity Advisory Group for Cox Media. In 2012, Cervantes was appointed as fellow for the Leadership Program of The New York Times/Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard, as well as for the "Líderes Digitales" program from the International Center for Journalists. In 2010, he was awarded with the Poynter-McCormick Leadership Fellowship. Cervantes graduated with honors in communication sciences and journalism from the Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey (ITESM), Mexico City Campus. Later, he was granted the Fundación Carolina Scholarship from the Spanish government to obtain an MBA degree at San Pablo-CEU School of Business (Madrid). Other awards include: the Power 30 Under 30 Award for Professional and Community Excellence in Atlanta, the Outstanding Alumni Medal from ITESM, and several José Martí Awards for Journalism Excellence from the National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP). Cervantes enjoys music, books, travel, friendship, good mezcal and the occasional company of his guitar.