The death toll from Mexico’s drug war has dropped by about 25 percent in the first three months of this year from the last quarter of 2008, Attorney General Eduardo Medina Mora said on Thursday.
Medina Mora told reporters after meeting U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Attorney General Eric Holder in the city of Cuernavaca that drug violence killed 1,600 people from January to March.
The figure was still almost double the 850 deaths associated with drug trafficking reported in the first three months of 2008 but seemed to reflect a drop in killings in the violent border city of Ciudad Juarez since the army sent 5,000 troops there last month.
Drug killings in Mexico jumped last year to an unprecedented 6,300 despite an army crackdown ordered by President Felipe Calderon. Rival hitmen fighting for control of smuggling routes have murdered police and beheaded rivals.