According to Mexico’s Secretariat of Security and Citizen Protection, there were 33,341 homicides in Mexico in 2018. The number of deaths broke the record from the previous year, when 28,866 Mexicans were killed. Much of the violence is the result of the country’s long-running drug war. Since the Mexican government began deploying its military forces around the country in December 2006 to confront drug cartels, more than 100,000 Mexicans have died in drug-related violence.
Former U.S. official Roger Noriega has described the war as “a decade-long bloodbath.” The U.S. government has been fueling the war with the Mérida Initiative, a multi-billion dollar program of assistance that has provided Mexican security forces with aircraft, training, and equipment.