By Jim Kouri
Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon’s administration released an official report this week that reveals 12,903 people were murdered between January and September 2011 as a result of the Mexican government’s war on the powerful and ruthless drug cartels.
The report’s numbers represent an increase of 11% in the number of homicides in comparison to 2010 and has brought the death toll of the so-called “War on Drugs” to 47,515 deaths since President Calderón began his anti-narcotics campaign in December 2006.
Of the total deaths, 10,200 were classified as executions, 1,652 were encounters with authorities, 740 were direct aggression attacks, and 340 were a result of clashes between organized crime groups.
The Office of Mexico’s Attorney General stated that the “violence remains concentrated in certain areas of the country.” The official report declares that Ciudad Juárez is the most violent city in Mexico, as it is an area of dispute between the Sinaloa and Juarez cartels, a dispute that has contributed to 1,206 of the 2,276 total deaths in the state of Chihuahua.
The tourist destination of Acapulco comes in as the second most violent city contributing 795 deaths to the overall death toll. As reported last Summer by the Law Enforcement Examiner, mass graves were discovered in Acapulco and the once prosperous resort area has suffered a significant reduction in tourism.
The Mexican government’s report indicates the top six state contributors of violence by noting that Chihuahua registered 2,276 homicides, Guerrero had 1,533, Tamualipas had 1,153, Sinaloa had 1,100, Veracruz had 538, and Baja California which includes Tijuana had 250.
The Attorney General’s office also pointed out that “2011 is the first year that the death rate is less than previous years.” They indicated that from 2010 to 2011, the amount of deaths increased by 11% compared to 2009 to 2010 when it increased 70%, while from 2008 to 2009 it went up 63%, and finally it increased by 110% from 2007 to 2008.
The report, according to the Attorney General, was calculated according to information that was given to local authorities of the Federal Government. He added that the authorities are utilizing the available legal and technological capacities to assist state government in their investigations.
The last report to be released by Mexico’s Federal Government was in January of 2011.
In addition to Calderon’s government report, the Citizen Council for Public Safety and Justice recently released the 2011 list of the 50 most violent cities in the world. 12 Mexican cities were included on the list while five were in the top ten, including Ciudad Juárez, Acapulco, Torreón, Chihuahua, and Durango. From the lists released in the past years, Monterrey and Veracruz have been added, while Tijuana, Matamoros, and Reynosa have no longer been included.
Of the 50 cities on the list, 40 are in Latin America, including 12 in Mexico and five in Colombia.