Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation
Skip to: Search


Latin America Blog

Why Mexico is touting an 11 percent increase in drug-related murders

In previous years, drug-related killings have climbed as much as 110 percent. 

By Staff writer / January 12, 2012



Mexico City

Drug-related murder in Mexico shot up by 11 percent between 2010 and last year, with 12,903 killed in the first nine months of 2011, according to official figures released Wednesday.

Skip to next paragraph

Recent posts

But the government calls this good news. “It's the first year that the homicide rate increase has been significantly lower compared to previous years,” Mexico's attorney general’s office said in a statement.

They do have a point. From 2009 to 2010 killings in the same time period increased by 70 percent. The year before the increase was 63 percent. And from 2007 to 2008 it was a dizzying 110 percent.

With the new death count, the official number of those killed in five years under Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s military strategy against organized crime is more than 47,000.

Not great statistics as the Calderon administration heads into an election in July. So the government sought to underline another point Wednesday: that the majority of killings between rival traffickers took place in a quarter of Mexico’s states, meaning that a large swath of Mexico is safe.

One of the oases of safety from the drug war has been the otherwise dangerous capital, Mexico City. But security analysts are questioning if the capital will become another battled turf. 

Right before the numbers were released, two decapitated bodies were found in a burning SUV outside a high-end shopping mall in an exclusive enclave of Mexico City, popular with foreigners and wealthy Mexicans.

The next time the government publishes drug-related homicide figures, this kind of violence might produce numbers that shows greater geographical spread. 

That is, if the government publishes new figures at all. The latest numbers were apparently only made public under pressure from groups utilizing Mexico’s freedom of information law – not as part of a routine data release. Before Wednesday’s release, the Mexican news site Animal Politico had said the government has been refusing to give over the homicide data. Guest blogger Patrick Corcoran at Insight Crime has more details about it here

In its statement on the figures, the attorney general's office did not mention that battle but noted it was releasing the updated data in the name of “transparency.”

Get daily or weekly updates from CSMonitor.com delivered to your inbox. Sign up today.

Permissions

Read Comments

View reader comments | Comment on this story

  • Weekly review of global news and ideas
  • Balanced, insightful and trustworthy
  • Subscribe in print or digital

Special Offer

 

Doing Good

 

What happens when ordinary people decide to pay it forward? Extraordinary change...

Danny Bent poses at the starting line of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Mass.

After the Boston Marathon bombings, Danny Bent took on a cross-country challenge

The athlete-adventurer co-founded a relay run called One Run for Boston that started in Los Angeles and ended at the marathon finish line to raise funds for victims.

 
 
Become a fan! Follow us! Google+ YouTube See our feeds!