MEXICO CITY // Mexico's massive wave of drug killings can be traced to the departing president Felipe Calderon's failed security strategy, analysts say.
Soon after his inauguration in 2006, Mr Calderon pitted about 50,000 soldiers against cartels in an all-out offensive against drug trafficking. Analysts say the main result was a spike in violence, particularly after 2009.
More than 47,000 people were killed in drug-related violence from the time Mr Calderon took office until last September, according to government figures.
More than 7,000 people were murdered in the first half of this year, a 10 per cent jump over the previous six months, according to a study released this week by Lantia Consultants.
If this trend continues, the death tally will cross 60,000 by the end of November, when Mr Calderon's six-year-term ends.
"For any government, to speak of 60,000 victims in a country with no officially recognised internal conflict is a clear proof of failure," said Erubiel Tirado, a security expert at the Iberoamericana University.
Several groups, including Amnesty International, have denounced many serious human rights violations committed by the Mexican army, saying it was ill-prepared for internal security tasks as it undertook Mr Calderon's anti-drug offensive.