By Juan Montes for The Washington Post. MEXICO CITY—Mexico’s roaring capital city, among the most populous in the Western Hemisphere, has long been considered a haven from the violent drug gangs that run unchecked across many parts of the country. But a sharp rise this year in violent crime here has many worried that the city’s favored status is in jeopardy.

The Federal District, home to some nine million of the 20 million inhabitants in the Mexico City metropolitan area, saw homicides rise 21% to 566 in the first eight months of this year, according to…

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