Mexico Nears 35,000 Deaths; 15,0000+ In 2010

Juarez, Mexico – A total of 34,612 people have died in drug-related killings in the four years since Mexican President Felipe Calderon declared a stepped-up offensive against drug cartels.

Such killings jumped sharply in 2010 to reach 15,273 drug-related killings. The figure for 2009 was 9,616 deaths.

Officials say the rate of killings grew in the first half of the year, but then stabilized and began to decline in the last quarter of 2010.

Government security spokesman Alejandro Poire presented a new government database on such crimes Wednesday.

Many of the deaths are the result of turf wars among drug gangs.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.