23,000 intentional homicides reported in Mexico, second to war-torn Syria
Mexico 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 US President Donald Trump, rising inflation and low approval ratings.
Pena Nieto’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. While homicides are generally reported at a rate per 100,000 people, Sampaio said many countries in armed conflict lack reliable population data. “We think absolute numbers are a good way of measuring intensity,” he said. “Plus 23,000 is a huge …read more