The Los Angeles Times, 8/25/12
Travelers might want to dip into “Drug Violence in Mexico,” a recent report by The Trans-Border Institute at the University of San Diego. Though good statistics are often hard to come by in Mexico, authors Cory Molzahn, Viridiana Ríos and David A. Shirk have gathered a boatload of numbers, and they raise the idea that drug-related killings accelerated before Calderón declared war.
As the report notes, the Mexican government counted 12,903 drug-war killings (a.k.a. organized-crime homicides) in the first nine months of 2011, which brought the official total to 47,515 since Dec. 1, 2006.
If you add the 2,624 drug-related homicides reported by the Mexican daily Reforma from October through December 2011, that makes an estimated 50,139 drug-war deaths in five years and one month. (And there are all the killings of this year yet to be officially counted.)
Looking back, the TBI report suggests that drug-related violence may have begun to surge two years before Calderón took office.