TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE
LONDON – The battle between criminal gangs and Mexican government forces made the country second only to Syria for deaths in armed conflict last year, a London-based think tank has reported.
Some 23,000 people died in 2016 in Mexico’s fight with criminal cartels, while some 50,000 people died in the conflict in Syria, the International Institute for Strategic Studies said in an annual “armed conflict survey.”
But unlike the conflict in Syria, Mexico’s fight against organized crime received “scant attention” from international media, said the report, which recorded 157,000 deaths in conflict last year, down from 167,000 in 2015.
“The death toll in Mexico’s conflict surpasses those for Afghanistan and Somalia,” said John Chipman, the institute’s director general.
“This is all the more surprising, considering that the conflict deaths are nearly all attributable to small arms,” Chipman said. “Mexico is a conflict marked by the absence of artillery, tanks or combat aviation.”
Syria and Mexico are followed by Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Turkey, South Sudan and Nigeria.