More than 28,000 dead in Mexican drug violence, says intel chief
Mexico's intelligence chief Guillermo Valdez says more than 28,000 people have died in drug-related attacks since 2006. That was the year President Felipe Calderon began his battle against the country's drug gangs.
Since then, Mexico has recorded almost 1,000 clashes between criminals and security forces in public places. Speaking from Mexico City, reporter James Blears told RFI the figures have come as a surprise.
"Three weeks ago the Mexican attorney general had announced around 24,000 deaths since December 2006, when president Calderon started his operation," Blears said.
The attorney general had also cited a figure of 7,000 people killed by the drug cartels in 2010.
"Now the national intelligence chief has come out with this figure of more than 28,000 people...a huge amount," said Blears. "The drug war is not lessening. We've heard in the past that things are very bad but eventually things will get better, but the evidence is the violence is getting worse."
Only 400 million dollars in drug money has reportedly been seized so far. Blears says this is a drop in the bucket.
"We're talking about billions of dollars of business which is done by the cartels on a monthly basis, transporting huge amounts of mainly cocaine brought into the United States...so really, 400 million dollars is fractional compared to the money that should have been taken off them."