BUILD THE WALL: Mexico Now World’s Deadliest Conflict Zone After Syria
Mexico has surpassed Iraq and Afghanistan to become the world’s second-most deadly conflict zone after Syria, according to a study of wars around the globe.
The number of fatalities from the expanding war among Mexico’s criminal cartels grew to 23,000 in 2016, compared with 17,000 in Afghanistan and 16,000 in Iraq, according to the annual Armed Conflict Survey by the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
That level of bloodshed was all the more surprising, because “Mexico is a conflict marked by the absence of artillery, tanks or combat aviation,” IISS director general John Chipman said in remarks at the survey’s launch in London on Tuesday. Virtually all of those deaths were caused by small arms.
The largest number of fatalities occurred in Mexican states that have become “key battlegrounds for control between competing, increasingly fragmented cartels,” he said, with violence flaring as gangs try to clear areas of rivals so they can monopolize drug trafficking routes.
The Middle East in general and Syria in particular remained the most lethal regions on earth, with the nearly six-year-old-Syrian conflict claiming a further 50,000 lives. That brings the total number of deaths during the civil and proxy war to an estimated 290,000, almost three times the number killed in Bosnia, in the early 1990s. Keep reading...