MEXICO CITY -- November was the bloodiest month so far in President Felipe Calderon's 2-year-old administration for murders linked to organized crime, with a total of at least 701 killings, according to a report published Monday by the daily Milenio.
In the No. 2 spot for murders linked to organized crime comes October with 669.
The figures are almost triple those registered for last January and February, when 247 and 251 people died, respectively.
Milenio also said that the so-called "executions" (murders committed among drug gang assassins or hits by criminals on security forces) so far this year have already exceeded 5,000, standing at present at 5,024.
However, according to the daily El Universal, the only media outlet that is making a daily tally of these crimes and publishing it each day, the number of murders stands at 4,961.
The unofficial data compiled by the press are the only figures that exist in Mexico on these cases. There is a lack of government figures on the matter because the authorities do not provide this kind of information for public consumption.
The state most affected by the wave of violence in November was, once again, Chihuahua, in the north, where 255 people were murdered.
Ciudad Juarez is located in Chihuahua, and Mexico's most violent city - which lies just across the border from El Paso, Texas - is best known for the 500 or so murders of women that have occurred there since 1993, killings that have not been solved.
After Chihuahua comes Baja California, with 170 murders so far this year. Located in that northwestern state is Tijuana, another focal point for drug trafficking violence and lying just across the border from San Diego, California.
The latest violent incident to be recorded in Tijuana came on Sunday, when local authorities found the bodies of nine decapitated men, three of them police.
Meanwhile, according to Ciudad Juarez's El Diario, in that city there were 192 murders last November.
In all, since January there have been 1,407 murders in Ciudad Juarez, the daily adds.
In Chihuahua as well as in Baja California, the Mexican government has deployed hundreds of soldiers and federal police to try and quell the violence perpetrated by the drug cartels as they vie for control of the lucrative smuggling routes into the United States and engage in other turf wars.
Calderon said on Sunday in a ceremony to provide the results of his first two years in office that the fight against organized crime is a "battle" that Mexico will win.
In addition, he asked for the participation of the authorities and society to end "years of indifference" to corruption, a blight that affects the police perhaps more than any other institution. EFE