"While the toll of recent organized crime homicides in Mexico has been enormous, some perspective is needed to contextualize this violence. As bad as things might seem, Mexico’s national homicide rate (18 per 100,000 inhabitants) is about average for the hemisphere. Moreover, Mexico’s homicide rate pales in comparison to Honduras (82), El Salvador (66), Venezuela (49), Belize (41), and Guatemala (41), Colombia (33), the Bahamas (28), Brazil (22), and the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico (26). In other words, it is important not to exaggerate Mexico’s security situation.
"Violence Continues to Rise, But Far Less Sharply
"There is still no doubt that Mexico’s security is bad, and grew significantly worse in 2011. Organized crime homicides have increased to become the greatest share of all homicides, as well as the primary cause of unnatural death for young people in Mexico. In 2007, drug violence was the cause of 31.9% of all intentional homicides documented by the Mexican statistical agency, INEGI. By 2010 and 2011, drug violence accounted for 63.4% and 53.8% of all intentional homicides (homicidio doloso), respectively."


Molzahn, Cory; Rios, Viridiana; and Shirk, David A., "Drug Violence in Mexico: Data and Analysis Through 2011" (San Diego, CA: Trans-Border Institute, Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, University of San Diego, March 2012), pp. 12-13.