Security issues confronting Mexico have spiraled based on a study by the London, non-partisan group, IISS. Mexico was second only to Syria in the number of intentional homicides in 2016 with 23,000 deaths. In the region that includes Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, there were 39,000 people killed. The criminal violence is now more appropriately defined as armed conflict as military forces are often instrumental in fighting the drug cartels and criminal gangs that instigate the vast majority of the violence.
After a year that experienced an increase of nearly 23% in violent deaths, the first two months of 2017 were the most violent January and February on record with 3,779 homicides recorded. March recorded 2,020 murders for the most since 2011, during which the ‘war on drugs’ was initiated by then President Felipe Calderon.