In previous years, drug-related killings have climbed as much as 110 percent.
Drug-related murder in Mexico shot up by 11 percent between 2010 and last year, with 12,903 killed in the first nine months of 2011, according to official figures released Wednesday.
But the government calls this good news. “It's the first year that the homicide rate increase has been significantly lower compared to previous years,” Mexico's attorney general’s office said in a statement.
They do have a point. From 2009 to 2010 killings in the same time period increased by 70 percent. The year before the increase was 63 percent. And from 2007 to 2008 it was a dizzying 110 percent.
With the new death count, the official number of those killed in five years under Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s military strategy against organized crime is more than 47,000.
Not great statistics as the Calderon administration heads into an election in July. So the government sought to underline another point Wednesday: that the majority of killings between rival traffickers took place in a quarter of Mexico’s states, meaning that a large swath of Mexico is safe.