Mexico’s 2016 murder tally exceeds those of many countries at war: study

5/9/2017 Reuters

machine gunMexico had the second-highest number of murders last year among countries considered in “armed conflict,” more than Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a report published on Tuesday that dealt a blow to President Enrique Pena Nieto’s efforts to end a deadly drug war.

With nearly 23,000 intentional homicides in 2016, Mexico’s murder tally was second only to war-torn Syria’s 60,000, said Antonio Sampaio, one of the authors of the International Institute for Strategic Studies’ “Armed Conflict Survey 2017.”

Iraq had roughly 17,000 murders, while Afghanistan had 16,000 last year, he added, noting that Mexico’s militarized drug battle increasingly resembles an armed conflict.

Although the 2016 homicide data has been around for a few months, the revelation that Mexico’s murder tally was second only to Syria’s is a massive setback for Pena Nieto, who is struggling with tense negotiations with the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, rising inflation and low approval ratings.

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