MEXICO CITY – A total of 1,104 people died in violent incidents in Mexico last month, the government said.
The death toll was down by 35, or 3.07 percent, from December, the Office of the President, the Government Secretariat, the Defense Secretariat, the Navy Secretariat, the Attorney General’s Office and the Federal Police said in a report.
Of the 1,104 people who died in January in incidents linked to drug cartels and other organized crime groups, 1,068 were suspected criminals and 30 were police officers, soldiers and other public officials “who fell in the line of duty,” the report said.
Six people killed in violent incidents are presumed to have been innocent bystanders, the government said.
A total of 809 people were turned over last month to judicial authorities, up by 16 from December 2012, the report said.
Authorities seized 69,025 kilos of drugs, mainly marijuana and cocaine, in January, up 28 percent from December.
A total of 201 hectares (496 acres) of marijuana and 795 hectares (1,962 acres) of opium poppies were eradicated in January, the report said.
Mexican press tallies estimated that about 12,000 people died in violent incidents linked to organized crime groups in 2012.
The war on drugs launched by former President Felipe Calderon, who was in office from 2006 to 2012, left about 70,000 people dead in Mexico, the government said.
About 20,000 people are listed as disappeared in the country, the non-governmental Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity says.