The Mexican Drug War is an armed conflict taking place
between various drug cartels and organizations and the
Mexican government. The government attempted crack down
on the drug organizations through arrests of high-level
leaders and other figures in the drug trade, but as some
cartels are dismantled or become leaderless due to arrest
or death, new, often more violent power struggles begin
over leadership of the cartels. The current situation is
largely a result of the fact that Mexico is a main
conduit for illegal drugs flowing into the United States,
and the drug-producing and smuggling organizations known
as cartels, have become very rich, powerful, and
well-armed as they grow and protect their business
interests. The Mexican government,led by newly-elected
President Felipe Calderón ordered a force of 6,000
armed soldiers on December 11 of 2006, to the state of
Michoacán to stop the increasingly violent warfare
between rival drug cartels. The cartels responded with
violent attacks on Mexican police and military forces. At
least 4,100 people, including over 450 government police
and troops have died in the Drug War since December,
On June 8, 2009, a fierce gunbattle between the
Mexican army and drug cartel gunmen in Acapulco, resulted
in 16 dead gunmen and two dead soldiers.
The Mexican Drug War raged on througout 2010, claiming
8,528 more lives in 2010. As of October, 2010, the total
loss of life in Mexico in this war ran to 27,903.
Below is a list of major acts
of violence since President Felipe Calderon took office
in December 2006 and declared war on the criminal drug
cartels. More than 30,000 people have died in
drug-related violence since that date.
-- September 15, 2008 - Suspected members of
the Zetas drug gang tossed grenades into a crowd
celebrating Mexico's independence day in the western
city of Morelia, killing eight people and wounding
more than 100.
-- Jan 31, 2010 - Suspected cartel hitmen killed 13
high school students and two adults at a party in
Ciudad Juarez across from El Paso, Texas.
-- March 13, 2010 - Hitmen killed three people
linked to the U.S. consulate in Ciudad Juarez in
March, provoking "outrage" from U.S. President Barack
-- March 28, 2010 - Gunmen in northwestern Durango
state killed 10 people, as young as 8 years old, after
the pick-up truck they were traveling in sped through
a roadblock on a highway in the drug-producing "Golden
-- June 7, 2010 - Police pulled 55 bodies out of a
mine in the colonial town of Taxco near Mexico City
over several days. Some bodies were in advanced states
-- June 11, 2010 - Two dozen heavily armed gunmen
burst into a drug rehabilitation clinic in the
northern city of Chihuahua and killed 19 addicts,
ranging in age from 18 to 25.
-- June 28, 2010 - Suspected cartel hitmen shot and
killed a popular gubernatorial candidate in the
northern state of Tamaulipas in the worst cartel
attack on a politician to date. Rodolfo Torre, 46, and
four aides from the opposition Institutional
Revolutionary Party, or PRI, were ambushed on their
way to a campaign event for the July 4 state
-- July 15, 2010 - A 22-pound car bomb killed four
people in Ciudad Juarez in a blast detonated by cell
phone, the first such attack since Calderon took
-- July 18, 2010 - Gunmen burst into a birthday
party in the northern city of Torreon, using automatic
weapons to kill 17 party-goers and wound 18 others.
Mexican authorities later said those responsible were
incarcerated cartel hitmen let out of jail by corrupt
officials. The killers allegedly borrowed weapons and
vehicles from prison guards and later returned to
-- July 24, 2010 - Police unearthed 51 bodies in a
grave outside Mexico's business capital Monterrey in
northern Mexico over several days. Some corpses were
burned beyond recognition.
-- August 18, 2010 - The body of the mayor of
Santiago, a colonial tourist town near Monterrey, was
dumped on a rural road, two days after he was taken
from his home. Calderon condemned the killing of
Edelmiro Cavazos, the latest attack on public
officials in the drug war.
-- August 25, 2010 - Mexican Marines found 58 men
and 14 women at a ranch near the Gulf of Mexico in
Tamaulipas state, some 90 miles from the Texas border,
after a firefight with drug hitmen in which three
gunmen and a marine died.
-- October 22, 2010 - Suspected drug hitmen killed
14 people, mainly teenagers, at a birthday party in
-- October 24, 2010 - In Tijuana across the border
from San Diego, California, hitmen shot and killed 14
people at a drug rehab clinic, the most violent attack
this year in a city that appeared to be enjoying an
improvement in security.
-- October 27, 2010 - Gunmen opened fire on staff
and customers in a car wash on the outskirts of the
city of Tepic in Nayarit state in western Mexico,
killing 15 people working there.