Mexican drug war deaths surpass 30,100

December 18, 2010

Mexico City (CNN) — More than 30,100 people have died in drug-related violence since Mexican President Felipe Calderon began a crackdown on cartels, the country’s attorney general said.

Armed with statistics about what he described as a “significant transformation” in Mexico’s fight against organized crime, Mexican Attorney General Arturo Chavez Chavez said the importance of restoring the rule of law throughout the country was the driving force behind Calderon’s initiative, which started shortly after he took office in December 2006.

“What is very clear is that there is an important weakening of criminal structures. … There is no criminal organization that can be even remotely superior to the force of the state,” Chavez told reporters at a year-end meeting Thursday.

Among the numbers cited, Chavez noted that authorities have seized about $11.2-billion worth of drugs and secured more than $420 million while clamping down on money laundering operations during Calderon’s administration.

He said that 400 people had been extradited to other countries in the past four years.

Chavez outlined what he described as “three principle poles” of crime in Mexico — the border city of Juarez, Calderon’s home state of Michoacan and the border state of Tamaulipas.

Throughout the country, 12,456 people were killed in drug-related violence from January through November this year, he said, bringing the total number of deaths since December 2006 to 30,196, the state-run Notimex news agency reported.

A report released by the Stratfor global intelligence company this week said clashes between cartels in 2010 “have produced unprecedented levels of violence throughout the country.”

Even the government’s recent high-profile takedowns of drug lords have a cost, Stratfor’s report said.

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