MEXICO CITY – A total of 11,583 people were murdered in Mexico last year, making 2010 the worst year since President Felipe Calderon declared war on the country’s drug cartels shortly after taking office in December 2006, the Mexico City daily Reforma reported.
The northern state of Chihuahua, Sinaloa, which is in the northwestern part of the country, and Guerrero, located in the south, were the most violent of Mexico’s 32 states.
The newspaper’s tally, however, was lower than the January-November figure of 12,456 murders that the Attorney General’s Office released on Dec. 16.
Some 607 of Mexico’s more than 2,400 cities experienced at least one gangland-related crime, up from the 530 affected by criminal activities in 2009, Reforma said.
Chihuahua registered 3,185 murders, while Sinaloa had 2,028 murders and Guerrero registered 984.
Chihuahua is home to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico’s murder capital, where press tallies put the total murders in 2010 at more than 3,100, or about one-quarter of the total for the country.
Ciudad Juarez, a border city where the Juarez and Sinaloa drug cartels have been battling for control of smuggling routes into the United States, has been plagued by drug-related violence for years.
The most violent month since Calderon launched his war on the cartels was June 2010, when 1,414 murders occurred, the newspaper said.
Gangland violence may actually increase in 2011 across Mexico, Reforma reported, citing experts.