This report was prepared for the Justice in Mexico Project (www.justiceinmexico.org) hosted by the Trans-Border Institute at the University of San Diego. Following is a summary. The entire report can be read here.
• Recent headlines have regularly featured coverage of Mexico’s ongoing drug related violence, which authorities believe has resulted in 28,000 homicides since President Felipe Calderón took office in December 2006. The government claims that 90% of these homicides target individuals affiliated with drug trafficking.
• There is a lack of access to reliable information and official statistics on the extent and distribution of this violence. For this reason, over the past four years, the Trans-Border Institute’s Justice in Mexico Project has been regularly monitoring and analyzing available data on drug related violence from various media outlets. The present document updates the Institute’s findings to help document the disturbing patterns of drug related violence that have continued and accelerated over the course of 2010.
• Available media sources suggest Mexico’s drug violence in 2010 is on track to surpass previous annual levels of violence, which have increased significantly each year since 2004. There were an estimated 6,587 drug related killings in 2009 in Mexico, an increase of about 20% over the previous year. With 5,775 drug related killings reported by Reforma in mid-year 2010, however, drug violence related deaths in 2010 are on track to exceed any previous year, perhaps even doubling the homicides of the last year.
• While drug related homicides remains highly concentrated in a few states, 2010 saw a significant spreading of violence to other parts of the country. Levels of drug related violence increased significantly in Chihuahua (1,665 killings by mid-year 2010 compared to 2,082 total in 2009) and Sinaloa (1,221 killings by mid-year 2010 compared to 767 total in 2009), but also in the states of Tamaulipas, Nuevo León, Guerrero, and the
State of Mexico.
• Drug violence also appears to be affecting people more broadly and more publicly than in the past. While the government estimates that 90% of drug violence impacts individuals involved in organized crime, in 2010 there has been a worrying tendency to target high-profile victims (including politicians and public officials), drug rehabilitation centers, and private parties. In this sense, Mexico’s drug related violence is becoming a
much wider societal phenomenon that engages wider sectors of the society.
|Drug related deaths in Mexico. 2010 is through first half of year.
Source: Trans-Border Institute at the University of San Diego