Mexico drug violence killed 12,000 in 2011: reports
MEXICO CITY — Some 12,000 people died in drug-related violence in 2011 in Mexico and around 50,000 have been killed since the start of President Felipe Calderon’s crackdown on drug gangs in 2006, media reported Monday.
The reports came out as brutal violence continued to rock parts of Mexico amid a military crackdown on organized crime involving tens of thousands of troops.
Reforma daily counted 12,539 drug-related killings in 2011, which it said was a 6.3 percent increase on the previous year.
It said the violence had become more brutal with increases in beheadings — to almost 600 — and more than 1,000 cases of torture.
Daily Milenio recorded 12,284 drug-related deaths in 2011 and underlined major hikes in violence in the Pacific coast state of Guerrero and the Gulf of Mexico state of Veracruz, where 35 bodies were dumped under a busy overpass in one incident alone.
La Jornada daily estimated 11,890 deaths, or an average of 33 per day, in 2011, which it said was an 11 percent decrease on the previous year, in a report published Saturday.
The government has said 15,273 people were killed in 2010, without offering specifics on its count, making it the deadliest year since Calderon launched his crackdown.
In an election year in which drug violence is a key concern, a spokesman for the attorney general’s office said the government would release official figures for 2011 in the first half of January.