Colombia…comparison w/ Mexican “drug war” deaths

Molly Molloy

There is a lot of media coverage today of the long-awaited Colombian peace accords. The Colombian conflict is described as the longest violent conflict in the hemisphere–more than 52 years of fighting. I would recommend this publication from the Latin American Working Group (posted below) and also this LAWG document noting the deaths attributed to different combatants: government armed forces, right-wing paramilitaries and leftist guerrillas. See:
I was especially struck by this paragraph:
The human costs of the conflict are devastating. More than 220,000 people —over 80 percent of whom were civilians— lost their lives in the brutal war. Over the course of the conflict, more than 6 million Colombians were forcibly displaced, more than 45,000 were disappeared, and countless women suffered sexual violence that often went unrecognized.


I’ve also posted below the recent data on homicides in Mexico and I note that according to the government’s own statistics, more than 220,000 people have been murdered or disappeared in Mexico in LESS THAN 10 YEARS.

In any comparison of homicide or violent conflict between countries, comparative population must be considered.
Current estimate of Mexico’s population: 123,000,000
Current estimate of Colombia’s population: 48,000,000.
Mexico is 2.5 times bigger than than Colombia in terms of population.

Yet, more people have been killed in Mexico in less than 10 years (since the beginning of the "drug war" in late 2006) than in 52 years of the Colombian civil war.

Colombia Peace Accord Offers Opportunity for Sustainable Peace

View/Download this statement as a PDF.
[Para leer el comunicado en espanol, haga clic aquí.]


YEAR #Homicides Rate=#/100,000
2007* 8,867 8
2008 14,006 13
2009 19,803 18
2010 25,757 23
2011 27,213 24
2012 25,967 22
2013 23,063 19
2014 20,010 17
2015 20,525 17
2016**(jan-july) 11,257
TOTAL 196,468

A TOTAL of 1,842 intentional homicides (homicidios dolosos) in July 2016;

11,257 so far, Jan-July 2016. This averaged to 53 homicides per day so far in 2016.

An average of 56 homicides PER DAY from January 2007-July 2016

If we add the estimate of approximately 25,000 people missing and/or disappeared as reported by the Mexican government***, then the number of people killed or disappeared since 2007 is at least: 221,468

*Homicide totals 2007-2015 from INEGI:

**Homicide totals 2016 from SESNSP: