MEXICO CITY — The murder rate in drug-violent Mexico has almost tripled since 2005, government figures showed Monday, though officials did not specify how many homicides were linked to the country's war on drugs.
A total of 27,199 people were killed in 2011, or 24 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants, compared to 9,921 in 2005, or 9 per 100,000 inhabitants, according to preliminary figures from the National Statistics Institute (INEGI).
It was an increase of 5.6 percent from 2010, when 25,757 homicides were committed.
The INEGI figures do not specify how many homicides were linked to the drug war, but the number of murders has surged since President Felipe Calderon unleashed the military against powerful cartels in 2006.
The government stopped providing statistics on drug-related homicides in September 2011, when it reported that 47,515 people were killed in drug violence since December 2006.
According to a recent study by Lantia Consultores, a public policy firm, 7,022 people were killed in the first six months of 2012, up from 6,408 in the second half of 2011.
The INEGI figures showed that 95,632 homicides were committed across the nation between 2007 and 2011.
The northern state of Chihuahua, which borders the United States, recorded the most homicides last year with a total of 4,502.
The central state of Mexico, the most populous with 15.1 million people, came second with 2,613 homicides.
The southern state of Guerrero was third with 2,425 homicides. It is home to Acapulco, the Pacific resort town that has been the scene of horrendous drug-related murders in recent months.
The number of homicides more than doubled between 2010 and 2011 in Veracruz and Nuevo Leon, two states dominated by the Zetas drug cartel, an ultra-violent gang controlled by army deserters.
In Veracruz, homicides rose to 1,075 last year from 461 in 2010. In Nuevo Leon, they surged to 2,177 in 2011 from 951 a year earlier.