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News Link • Drug War

'War on drugs' is costing thousands of lives

• By Orange County Register Editorial

While American foreign policy has for years fixated on the conflict in Syria and the Middle East, just across the border in Mexico and throughout Central America tens of thousands of people lost their lives last year because of the conflict between drug cartels competing to deliver illicit drugs into the United States.

According to a recent report from the International Institute for Strategic Studies, whereas approximately 50,000 lives were lost in Syria last year, approximately 39,000 were killed in Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, much of which is attributable to drug-war violence.

Mexico's homicide total of 23,000 for 2016 is second only to Syria's, and is only the latest development in a conflict which stretches back to 2006, when President Felipe Calderon deployed the military to combat drug cartels.

Although the exact number of people killed because of the drug war in Mexico is unlikely to ever be known, a recent report from the Congressional Research Service cited estimates from 80,000 to more than 100,000 in that country alone.

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