Mexico is home to world-class museums, archaeological sites and cultural events — but in the past decade, drug cartel violence is often the first thing that comes to mind. The illegal drug trade has had an enormous cost on Mexico in lives lost.
Here are some statistics to put the drug war in context:
Killings in Mexico are trending up after a decline
The number of homicides in Mexico peaked in 2011 and then declined for three years. But the latest statistics show the trend reversed in 2015. Estimating how many homicides are related to drug violence is an imprecise science, but leading newspapers in Mexico estimate that since 2006, organized crime-style homicides account for 40% to 50%.
Mexico is NOT the deadliest country in the Americas
The grisliness of some of the drug cartel violence in Mexico — beheadings, mass killings, torture — gets a lot of attention. While there are some hot spots of violent activity, Mexico’s homicide rate is actually closer to the middle of the pack than the top, compared with other nations in the hemisphere.