Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I am doing some writing for InSight (which is a great resource for organized crime info, independent of me being there), and one of my first pieces is about the inconsistent reports from the government regarding the number of troops killed combating organized crime.
For instance, according to August reports using figures from Mexico's Secretariat of Defense (SEDENA), 191 soldiers and marines had been killed in operations against drug traffickers during Calderon's time in office. In October 2010, however, SEDENA offered a figure of 111 soldiers killed from January 2007 through July 2010. Interestingly, the same figure of 111 soldiers killed appeared as well in reports from July 2009.

Furthermore, according to the book "Politics in Mexico: The Democratic Consolidation" by Roderic Ai Camp and also based on an IFAI request of SEDENA, 55 soldiers were killed during the first three years of the Vicente Fox administration. While not entirely inconsistent with the military's most recent report, such a large proportion of dead soldiers – 39 percent of the 132 reported most recently-- coming from just the first half of the Fox administration, coupled with the much heavier reliance on the military under Calderon, is an unlikely proposition.
It's hard to avoid one of two conclusions, neither of which is very comforting: either the government is lying or they don't have a very good idea of the circumstances in which their soldiers are dying.

No comments: