Arturo Chávez Chávez, Mexican Attorney-General (head of the Procuraduría General de la República “PGR”) has revealed the official death toll of President Calderón so called war upon drug cartels.
Chávez Chávez announced that just during 2010, 12,456 people have been killed, including of course 13 majors (presidentes municipales).
The figures unveiled during a press conference have been deleted from the official transcription of Attorney-General’s speech (available at PGR’s official website), however it has been recorded and published by the media, including several Mexican newspapers like Reforma, Milenio and La Jornada. Los Angeles Times and The New York Times have also divulged the figures.
The rising toll represents a political drag on Calderon, who has sought to assure a jittery public that the crackdown is depleting the cartels’ power as they lose bosses to death and arrest.
Although the administration has contended that the vast majority of those killed are drug gang henchmen, the bloodletting has left many Mexicans convinced that the government has lost control of entire regions, such as the crime-ridden northern border state of Tamaulipas.
In a recent survey by the Mitofsky polling firm, 59% of respondents said organized-crime groups were winning the war against federal forces. In a separate poll, 4 in 5 respondents said the country was more violent than a year before: Ken Ellingwood, Los Angeles Times.
The previous official toll, in August, was 28,000.
With announcements of this kind, it is difficult to believe President Calderón and his team are moving in the right direction and are getting the job done.
December 17th, 2010.