Mexico drug war death toll up 60% in 2010. Why?

Four years after taking on Mexico’s drug traffickers by deploying some 50,000 military and federal forces, President Felipe Calderón is touting successes, including taking down top drug traffickers and dismantling their networks. He is also faced with a grim number: 15,273.

That’s the drug war’s death toll in 2010, the government announced Wednesday, up from an estimated 9,600 in 2009 and 5,400 in 2008. Over four years the toll has reached a total of 34,612, federal security spokesman Alejandro Poire told reporters, which included 30,913 execution-style killings, 3,153 deaths in gang shootouts, and 546 deaths involving attacks on authorities.

Looking more in depth at the drug cartels here

Graphic: Map of Mexican drug cartels
(Rich Clabaugh/ TCSM Staff)