Amid Drug War, Mexico Homicide Rate Up For Fourth Straight Year

A study has found that Mexico’s homicide rate rose for the fourth year in a row in 2011, this time by 5.6% compared with the previous year — a fact that will come as little surprise to Mexicans who continue to be bombarded each morning with the latest stomach-turning details of the country’s drug war.

What is less clear, however, is what the new numbers say about outgoing President Felipe Calderon’s controversial and nearly 6-year-old  decision to deploy the military to battle the country’s entrenched drug-trafficking gangs.

Is this the short-term pain that Mexico must endure in order to achieve a long-term peace? Or are the increased slayings the inevitable — and ineluctable — result of a strategy that Calderon’s successor, Enrique Peña Nieto, has essentially promised to continue, with a few alterations?

The new data, released this week by Mexico’s statistics and geography institute, show that 27,199 people were killed in Mexico last year — or 24 homicides per 100,000 people. The rate in 2007 was 8 per 100,000. Last year it was 23 per 100,000.

The data include all homicides in Mexico, not just the drug-related ones, but they are likely to inspire the same head-scratching and political jockeying that narco-related statistics do, and which have become a kind of morbid parlor game here.

The ramifications, of course, extend far beyond Mexico: The U.S. government estimates that Mexican drug cartels maintain a commercial presence in at least 230 American cities. In 2009, the Justice Department called them the "greatest organized crime threat to the United States."

– Read the entire article at Los Angeles Times.


1 Comment

  1. Anonymous on

    And so the prohibitionist they do everything they can to increase prices. Lets see if this makes the cartels “an even greater organized crime threat to the US”? I mean folks can we say, “HELLO is anybody in there”?