Organized crime-related deaths in one Mexican border state during the first nine months of 2011 exceed the number of Afghan civilians killed in roughly the same period in all of war-torn Afghanistan.
According to the Mexican government, from January through September 2011 2,276 deaths were recorded in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, which borders Texas and New Mexico.
A Nov. 2011 Congressional Research Service (CRS) reportstates that over nearly the same period – January through October 2011 – 2,177 civilians were killed in Afghanistan, where a U.S.-led war against the Taliban is underway. It did not provide a breakdown of responsibility for that period, but said that in 2010, 75 percent of civilian deaths were attributed to the Taliban and other “anti-government elements.”
Per capita, a person was at least nine times more likely to be murdered in Chihuahua last year than in Afghanistan. (Chihuahua has 3,406,465 inhabitants, according to Mexico’s 2010 census; the CIA World Factbookreports that in July 2011 the estimated population of Afghanistan was 29,835,392.)
According to the reported numbers, the drug-related murder rate was about 67 for every 100,000 inhabitants in Chihuahua last year, while in Afghanistan the civilian killing rate was an estimated seven for every 100,000 people living there.
There were more drug-related killings in Chihuahua than in any other Mexican state, according to the government figures. Chihuahua, the largest state in Mexico, includes Ciudad Juarez, a border city located across from El Paso, Texas. It is the deadliest city in Mexico and is considered one of the most dangerous places in the world.