Feb 052011

Guadalupe, in the state of Chihuahua, with 139 deaths among a population of only 6,458, has the highest drug war death rate in Mexico: 2,152 drug deaths per 100,000 population. Mier (Tamaulipas) and General Treviño (Nuevo León) are not far behind. Most of the municipalities in the attached table (link below) have rather small populations; 15 of the municipalities had fewer than 6,500 inhabitants in 2010.

A previous post noted that among big cities, Ciudad Juárez had the highest rate of drug war deaths by far, over twice the rate for the runner-up Culiacán in Sinaloa. However, Ciudad Juárez ranks only 10th when smaller municipalities are included in the analysis. The table lists the 20 municipalities with the highest rates of drug war related deaths (from December 2006 through December 2010) per 100,000 population. Drug war deaths include deaths of drug cartel members, law enforcement personnel, and innocent by-standers.

All 20 municipalities listed in the table are in one of four border states: Chihuahua, Sonora, Nuevo León and Tamaulipas. In fact, half of the 20 municipalities are in the state of Chihuahua. Five form a cluster around Ciudad Juárez on the border and four are just south of Chihuahua City. The three in Tamaulipas and three in Nuevo León are bunched together between Nuevo Laredo and Reynosa within 60 kilometers of the border. Three of the four in Sonora are not far from the highway joining the state capital Hermosillo with Nogales on the US border.

Previous posts in this mini-series:

Related posts about the geography of drug trafficking and drug cartels in Mexico:

Geo-Mexico: the geography and dynamics of modern Mexico discusses drug trafficking in several chapters. A text box on page 148 looks at trends in the drug trafficking business and efforts to control it. Buy your copy today to have a handy reference guide to all major aspects of Mexico’s geography!

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