Almost 500 Military Deaths Since Start of Mexico’s Drug War

2/21/2017 InSight Crime

military-in-juarez Military Checkpoint in Juarez[/caption]

Mexico’s defense secretary says nearly 500 military personnel have been killed since the start of the country’s drug war a decade ago, an alarmingly high figure that nonetheless pales in comparison to the huge number of civilian casualties over the same period.

A recent report by the National Defense Secretariat (Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional – SEDENA) counted 496 deaths of military officers during anti-narcotics operations since December 2006, when newly-elected President Felipe Calderón ushered in a more aggressive approach to combating the country’s drug cartels.

El Universal, which did a comprehensive analysis of the report, found that shootouts were the most common cause of death, accounting for 249 of the cases. Vehicular accidents were a distant second (111), while airplane crashes came in third (50).

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