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War on drugs: About the largest massacres occurred in Mexico during 2006-2011.

Photo of massacre occurred in Tamaulipas, Mexico.

Since in 2006 Mexico´s President Felipe Calderón started the war on drugs against drug-trafficking cartel, there were more than 30 000 deaths linked to illegal drug trafficking in the country. The record year in terms of proliferation of massacres, promoted by so-called “drug barons”, was 2008.

Now, a summary of the largest massacres of the last five years occured in Mexico, since 2006. For this article we do not include recent massacres like the one occured in Guatemala, were Los Zetas killed and beheaded 27 peasants.

In 2011, in the City of San Fernando, in the state of Tamaulipas, staged the largest ever massacre led by drug traffickers in Mexico: 183 dead.  The first bodies were found in San Fernando on the last day on April 1. According to the Secretariat of State Government and Tameulipas, the victims were kidnapped while traveling by bus at the end of March. The mass murder was attributed to drug cartel Los Zetas, “one of the three largest in the country”. For the police there are three hypotheses to explain the crime: the passengers may have been kidnapped for use as slave labor  or to serve as a means of extorting money from their families or they could still be illegal immigrants who had paid to cross the border with the United States.

In 2010, August 24th, Mexican authorities found the bodies of 72 victims at a ranch in the same town of San Fernando in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. The group of immigrants was murdered by members of the group Los Zetas, one of the largest drug cartels in the country. Only one survived the attack. Luis Fredy Lala, aged 19, was shot in the neck, but managed to escape from criminals pretending to be dead. According to Lala, the immigrants came from Brazil, Ecuador, El Salvador and Honduras, and intending to cross the border with the U.S. when they were intercepted by the Zetas.

In 2009, in September, eighteen people were found dead in a rehabilitation clinic in Ciudad Juarez, a city that also live with high rates of drug addicts. Men invaded the clinic and forced patients to organize themselves in rows before the execution. The city became one of the worst scenes of violence in Mexico. In the week before the massacre at the center, there were 75 murders in Ciudad Juarez. Between late 2008 and September 2009, the city recorded more than three thousand victims of violence.

2008 has its particularities. The year 2008 marked the increase in violence involving drug trafficking in Mexico. The number of killings in the country and increased cases of beheading shocked the country, as f.e. the death of 12 people beheaded in the outskirts of Yucatan state capital of Merida. In the same year, nine people were found decapitated in Guerrero, the capital of Chilpancingo.
The states most affected by the “drug war” was Chihuahua, with 1,649 deaths, and Baja California Norte, with 604 deaths, both north of the country bordering the U.S., besides Sinaloa, which recorded 680 murders. A total of 5376 deaths across the country from January until December 2, 2008, an increase of 117% over the previous year.

In 2007 , about 2,500 deaths were linked to drug trafficking. The regions most affected were those that border the U.S., as the states of Chihuahua, Baja California Norte, Sinaloa and Guerrero as well as in southwestern Mexico. Many of the crimes related to drug trafficking cartels are also associated with illegal immigration to the nearby U.S. and many victims are immigrants (even from other Latin countries) who payed to clandestine organizations to cross the Mexican border.