The number of homicides in Mexico rose by nearly a quarter in 2010 compared with the year before as the drug war intensified, the Associated Press reports. The National Institute of Statistics and Geography recorded 24,374 homicides over the course of last year, a 23 percent increase from 19,803 in 2009. Last year’s figure represented 22 killings for every 100,000 residents. (By comparison, there were fewer than 15,000 homicides reported in the U.S. last year).
Many but not all of the homicides were committed by organized crime organizations, the institute said. Violence has risen in many Mexican regions as a result of drug trafficking and other organized criminal activity. President Felipe Calderon’s office has said that more than 15,000 homicides in 2010 were attributed to organized crime. According to the statistics institute, the U.S.-bordering state of Chihuahua saw the highest number of homicides with 4,747. Sinaloa, in northwestern Mexico, registered 2,505. A dozen mayors have been killed in Mexico since last year, many of them victims of violence related to drug cartels.