If the homicide count is an accurate measure of success, the ballyhooed war on drugs in Mexico is failing, reports the Christian Science Monitor. Four years after President Felipe Calderon took on Mexico's drug traffickers by deploying some 50,000 military and federal forces, Mexican authorities said this week that 15,273 people were killed in the drug war in 2010, up 60 percent from the year before. There were an estimated 9,600 drug slayings in 2009 and 5,400 in 2008. The four-year total of 34,612 includes 30,913 execution-style killings, 3,153 deaths in gang shootouts, and 546 deaths involving attacks on authorities.
By any definition, 'winning' the war appears far off. One reason for the startling attacks over the past year in Mexico is the progress that President Calderón has made in the war against drug trafficking organizations. These DTOs have seen high-profile losses – in terms of leadership and “product” – that have created much turmoil among the groups that control wide areas of Mexico. A global security group, which published an analysis of the drug war in December, called the cartel landscape “fluid and volatile” and said that as long as it remains in flux, violence is likely to continue.