Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Lots of Killings

In a presentation attended by Felipe Calderón, Cisen pegged the number of organized crime-related killings under Calderón at 28,000, which is slightly higher than the 24,000 mentioned by Arturo Chávez Chávez a few weeks ago. The 24,000 was itself the product of a significant upward revision a few months ago. The agency also reported that there have been just under 1,000 confrontations between criminal groups and government forces across the nation in the Calderón sexenio.

The absence of a standard definition of organized crime remains a bit of an issue for these calculations. Much of these murders were basically street gangs fighting over turf rather than multi-national gangs with the power to threaten the state, a distinction that organized crime obfuscates. That's not to lessen the significance of the 28,000; indeed, it is in some ways more worrying, because reducing the drivers of violence isn't merely a matter of taking down two or five gangs, but rather hundreds, as well as addressing the broader social climate that gives rise to them.

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