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Mexico’s President, Felipe Calderon, announced at the 33rd session of the National Public Security Council that the countries murder rate has dropped around 7% in the first 6 months of 2012, compared to the same months in 2011. The Spanish News Agency EFE reported today, August 2nd, that Calderon told the council organized crime murders have dropped around 15% as well.

The president also stated that 22 of the top 37 most wanted criminals in Mexico have been captured or killed during his tenure.

Calderon took a hard stance on organized crime when he took office in late 2006, sending military troops to combat cartels in their home territories. Incoming president-elect, Enrique Peña Nieto, plans to take a different approach than using military. The future president stated he would like to build an elite police force to use in combating cartels.

Mexico’s military has been criticized for its handling of suspects and evidence in recent years. Questions have also arisen on the accuracy of statistics released by the government.

While Tijuana and Baja California still see sporadic violence, the murder rate has steadily dropped over the past 18 months. After several years of making the world’s most violent cities list, Tijuana dropped from the list in 2011.

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