Photo: President Enrique Peña Nieto
More than 2,880 people were killed in organized crime-related violence in Mexico during the first three months of President Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration, according to a tally published Friday by the Milenio newspaper.
The daily noted that that figure included 100 soldiers and federal, state and municipal police killed in operations against organized crime outfits between Dec. 1, 2012, when Peña Nieto took office, and Feb. 28.
A total of 944 people were slain in February, an average of nearly 34 per day, down slightly from 956 in January and 982 in December.
Chihuahua was the most violent state in February with 155 organized crime-related homicides, followed by Guerrero with 87.
Among the security forces killed since Peña Nieto took office, most have been municipal police (64), followed by state police (23), federal police (6), army soldiers (6) and one marine.
The daily recalled that soldiers are deployed in the fight against drug mobs in 9 of Mexico’s 32 states.
Peña Nieto, of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, is continuing the army-led approach to tackling organized crime designed by predecessor Felipe Calderon, but he has said authorities will focus on dismantling cartels not just killing or capturing the bosses.
The war on drug cartels launched by Calderon led to the capture or slayings of several kingpins but also left more than 70,000 people dead during his six-year tenure.