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Sonora on track to smash standing murder record set in 2020

New datashows that neighboring Sonora is likely to surpass last year’s grisly murder record sometime this month.

Through the end of September, 1,450 people were murdered in the state, more than 90% of the record-setting 1,584 victims last year. If the rate so far this year holds, the tragic record is likely to fall within days, with more than two months remaining in 2021.

Over the first nine months of the year, Sonora had Mexico’s fifth-highest murder rate.

As has been the case for a number of years, Cajeme — home to the second largest city Ciudad Obregón — is the epicenter of violence, currently accounting for over a third of all Sonoran homicide cases. While long a hotspot, cases there are up 50% over the same period last year.

The capital Hermosillo and Guaymas — home to the popular beach resort San Carlos — are on track for a less violent 2021. Rocky Point, another common destination for Arizona visitors, has had 22 cases so far this year, the same as 2020’s total figure.

→  93% of people who live in this Sonoran city thinks it's unsafe

Murphy Woodhouse was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2018 to 2023.