Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Drug Violence in Mexico

This February 2011 report, Drug Violence in Mexico, from the Trans-Border Institute of the Joan B. Croc School of Peace Studies, University of San Diego, has statistics and information about the violence throughout Mexico.  The following is the executive summary of the report.

Government data shed new light on the extent of drug violence in Mexico.
Recently released official figures on homicides associated with organized crime report levels of violence that are significantly higher than those tracked by media accounts, which were previously the only source of information publicly available.

Violence has increased sharply under Mexican President Felipe Calderón.
Four years into the administration of President Calderón (2006-12), 34,550 killings have been officially linked to organized crime, a dramatic increase from the previous administration of President Vicente Fox (2000-06) when 8,901 cases were identified.

In 2010, levels of violence greatly surpassed the levels seen in previous years.
Over 15,000 organized crime killings occurred in 2010, comprising 44% of the total number accumulated during the Calderón administration and representing an increase of nearly 60% with respect to the previous year.

Organized crime killings are geographically concentrated in certain states.
56% of all homicides from organized crime in 2010 occurred in just four of Mexico’s 32 states (Chihuahua, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas, and Guerrero). Most others have had much lower levels of violence, and several states have been virtually untouched by violence (Baja California Sur, Campeche, Querétaro, Tlaxcala, and Yucatán)

Over 70% of the violence in 2010 was concentrated in just 80 municipalities.
The top five most violent municipalities in 2010 were Ciudad Juárez (2,738 cases), Culiacán (587), Tijuana (472), Chihuahua (670), and Acapulco (370), which together accounted for 32% of all the drug-related homicides in 2010.

Several areas saw sharp increases due to new clashes among drug traffickers.
Four states experienced large, sudden spikes in violence during the course of the last year: San Luis Potosí (from 8 homicides in 2009 to 135 in 2010), Tamaulipas (90 to 209), Nayarit (37 to 377), and Nuevo León (112 to 604).

Violence increasingly targeted government officials and civilians in 2010.
An unprecedented number of elected officials, police, military, and civilians have been caught in the crossfire, including 14 mayors and 11 journalists.

Recent progress in dismantling drug cartels could have unpredictable effects.
In 2010, the Mexican government’s counter-drug efforts led to the capture of several high-profile traffickers, including Teodoro “El Teo” García Simental, Edgar “La Barbie” Valdez, and Nazario “El Chayo” Moreno. Authorities believe these arrests may help bring a reduction, if not an end to the violence, though the disruption of organized crime groups could also increase violence among traffickers.

Full report can be read here.

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