Stats like this are contradict the failed-state nonsense that the American media has been throwing around lately, and offer an indication of the complexity of the problem in Mexico. It's not an organically violent society. The cartel violence, while frightening, is not a natural outgrowth of Mexico's nature, but rather a contradiction of it. Everyone was freaking out about cartel killings in Nuevo Laredo in 2005, but the city had a lower number of total murders than Washington, D.C., which is about the same size.
At the same time, it shows how much worse things could get in Mexico. If the sort of organic violence and societal decay that we've seen in Juárez is replicated across the country, Mexico could be confronting not 5,000 drug killings a year, but 15,000, if not more.