Mexico: 2010 narco-violence again breaks record

2010 saw the most drug-related deaths in Mexico since President Felipe Calderón launched his offensive against the country's narco-gangs in 2006, by his administration's own figures. Alejandro Poire, technical secretary of Calderón's Security Council, said 15,273 were killed in narco-violence last year—up from 9,616 in 2009 (and 5,376 in 2008). All told, 34,616 have been killed in Mexico's Drug War since 2006, according to the report. The four-year figure includes 30,913 execution-style killings, 3,153 deaths in shootouts, and 546 deaths involving attacks on authorities. Most of the killings took place in the three northern states of Chihuahua, Tamaulipas and Sinaloa. (The Guardian, Cambio de Michoacán, Jan. 13)

However, violence is rapidly spreading throughout the country. The central state of México has been experiencing a wave of "femicide"—seemingly ritualized killings of young women, a phenomenon that has long plagued the northern border city of Juárez, Chihuahua. The México state government this week was accused of rejecting a petition to investigate the femicides in order to protect Gov. Enrique Peña Nieto's reputation—and thereby his chances as a candidate in next year's presidential race for the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). (Mexico Weekly, Jan. 14)

In southern Oaxaca state, Luis Jiménez Mata, the newly elected mayor of Santiago Amoltepec village, was shot dead as he arrived at his offices in nearby Oaxaca City Jan. 14—the third mayor killed in Mexico this year. The mayor of Temoac, in central Morelos state, was fatally shot days earlier, while authorities in the northern state of Coahuila found the bullet-riddled body of the mayor of Zaragoza last week. (AFP, Jan. 14)

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