HomeNewsAnalysisCalderon Administration Releases Official 2006-2010 Homicide Figures
ANALYSIS

Calderon Administration Releases Official 2006-2010 Homicide Figures

HOMICIDES / 13 JAN 2011 BY GEOFFREY RAMSEY EN

More than 34,000 Mexicans have died in drug trafficking-related homicides in the four years since Mexico’s president, Felipe Calderon, declared war on the drug cartels after taking office in 2006.  

At a press conference on Wednesday, Mexican security spokesman Alejandro Poire announced the release of an official government database which catalogs all drug-related killings at both the state and municipal levels from December 2006 to December 2010.   Out of the 34,162 deaths listed, 15,273 (nearly 45 percent of the total) occurred in 2010 alone, making last year the bloodiest on record in Mexico’s "drug war."

In the main urban centers of the violence, the database lists 1,667 organized crime-related homicides in Tijuana, 6,437 in Ciudad Juarez, 653 in Mexico City, and 661 in Acapulco over the four-year period.

The data distinguishes between two kinds of deaths: "homicides," in which either the perpetrator or victim is linked to a criminal organization, and "confrontations," in which the deaths result from an armed encounter between authorities and cartels or clashes between the cartels themselves.

Despite the overwhelming number of homicides, the database portrays them as a relatively isolated phenomenon, with 70% of homicides occurring in only 85 municipalities throughout the country over the past four years.  According to Poire, "in 2010, out of all the homicides linked to organized crime, half of them took place in only three states: Chihuahua, Sinaloa and Tamaulipas."

Leading up to the database’s release, Mexican government officials have been careful to emphasize recent progress, highlighting various captures and assassinations of cartel leaders as measures of success.  In a statement made earlier in the week, Poire told El Milenio that about half of the 37 most dangerous criminal leaders of Mexico have been captured or killed, and said that the administration’s counter-narcotics policy has dealt "severe and irreparable damage to the structures of operations of all organized crime organizations [in Mexico]."

Ultimately, the Calderon government is using the statistics to drum up public support for its relatively hard-line approach towards the drug cartels.  A recent survey by the National Institute of Statistics, Geography and Information (INEGI) revealed that despite the increase in violence in 2010, 81.5 percent of Mexicans are in favor of the federal government’s operations against organized crime in the country.

Still, if violence continues to rise, it may test Mexicans' patience with the administration, potentially costing Calderon’s National Action Party (PAN) the presidency in 2012. According to some analysts, the high homicide rate was a major factor in the revival of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in July's regional and local elections. In the elections, the PRI won nine of the twelve governorships up for grabs, as well as control of the lower house of Congress.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

MEXICO / 6 OCT 2011

The 35 bodies dumped last month in Veracruz, eastern Mexico, with a note threatening to get rid of the Zetas…

BARRIO 18 / 13 APR 2012

El Salvador's Security Minister David Munguia said that the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and Barrio 18 gangs carried out half of…

INFOGRAPHICS / 31 AUG 2012

Mexico announced it would send just under 12,000 military personnel and 4,000 federal police to seven Mexican states, most of…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…

THE ORGANIZATION

Informing US State Department and European Union

1 APR 2022

InSight Crime Co-director McDermott briefed the US State Department and other international players on the presence of Colombian guerrillas in Venezuela and the implication this has for both nations.  McDermott…