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News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. Dec. 2, 2019: Dozens of peace activists took to the streets of Mexico City Sunday to call on Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to resign even as another gun battle between suspected cartel members and police left at least 21 dead.

People with signs reading “AMLO resign” took part in the march on the anniversary of López Obrador’s first year in office, a day after a shootout in the small town of Villa Union, a town in Coahuila state located about an hour’s drive southwest of Eagle Pass, Texas.

Four police officers were among nearly two dozen people killed after security forces engaged in an hour-long gun battle with suspected cartel members Saturday.

The armed group of suspected cartel members stormed the town of 3,000 residents in a convoy of trucks, attacking local government offices and prompting state and federal forces to intervene. Ten alleged members of the Cartel of the Northeast were initially killed in the response.

The killing comes on the heels of a drug cartel ambush that killed nine Americans in early November, focusing world attention on rising violence in the country.

 López Obrador is facing growing criticism for his government’s “hugs, not bullets” policy of not using violence when fighting violent drug cartels.

López Obrador is facing growing criticism for his government’s “hugs, not bullets” policy of not using violence when fighting violent drug cartels.

Mexico’s murder rate has increased to historically high levels, inching up by 2 percent in the first 10 months of the presidency of Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Federal officials said recently that there have been 29,414 homicides so far in 2019 – up from 28,869 over the same period last year.

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