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Drug Violence Down On U.S.-Mexico Border

Aired 3/2/12 on KPBS News.

A University of San Diego report found that drug related killings decreased along the border last year, even as violence grew in Mexico as a whole.

— Drug-related killings decreased along the U.S.-Mexico border last year, even as violence grew across Mexico.

In 2010, 50 percent of all drug-related killings in Mexico happened in northern border states. Last year, just 44 percent of killings did.

The decrease in border cities was even more dramatic. Their share of all drug-related killings fell from 30 percent to 17 percent.

The findings comes from a report to be released Friday by the University of San Diego's Trans-Border Institute, which analyzed Mexican government crime data.

David Shirk, the institute's director, said much of that reduction came from large cities like Ciudad Juarez and Tijuana, where at least two dynamics appear to have changed: Major cartels have secured control of smuggling routes from smaller ones, and pacts may have formed between cartels and government officials.

But while drops in large cities brought down murder levels along the border as a whole, violence did increase in some areas of the border, including in Coahuila and Tamaulipas states, the report found. It also spread into southern states like Veracruz.

Still, the data revealed the increase of violence appears to be slowing. Murders in Mexico rose by just 11 percent last year, compared to a 59 percent increase the year before.

The report called that leveling-off "a small cause for celebration."

But, Shirk said, “It’s far too early to break out the champagne or the tequila, but certainly it is the kind of shift that we would like to see: violence dropping much more sharply in the next couple of years.”

Among the other findings:

  • While violence has increased and spread, it remains highly concentrated in key drug trafficking areas, with 70 percent of organized crime killing occurring in just eight states.
  • Total drug-related killings surpassed 50,000 since the time President Felipe Calderon took office in 2006.
  • Drug-related murders still account for more than half of all homicides in Mexico.
  • Despite the increases of violence in Mexico, its overall homicide rate remains much lower than rates in other countries in Latin America, including Honduras, El Salvador and Venezuela.

Read the full report.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.


Avatar for user 'SteveRhoades'

SteveRhoades | March 2, 2012 at 2:49 p.m. ― 5 years ago

The federal government won't protect U.S. workers, local communities and
taxpayers from illegal immigration . The federal government sues to stop states
that try to help. Push your state representative to make a change .
Google this: NUMBERSUSA .
Once you are registered, go to the "action board" to send free faxes to your state representative.
They are all typed up and ready to go, you just need to click your mouse to send.

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | March 2, 2012 at 3:32 p.m. ― 5 years ago

From the report
"Violence increasingly targets authorities, reporters, and vulnerable populations. A growing number of law enforcement personnel, officials, journalists, women, and children joined the ranks of Mexico’s dead in 2011, and many victims of violence were subject to horrifying acts of torture and mutilation. On average, for every day of 2011, 47 people were killed, three of whom were tortured, one of whom was decapitated, two of whom were women, and ten of whom were young people whose lives were cut short by violence."

To me this is the most disturbing part. These guys aren't just offing each other in turf wars, they are establishing (or maintaining) control through intimidation. There seems to be no cause for celebration at all.

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