This year is on its way to becoming Mexico's most violent in the last two decades, with more than 26,500 people killed between January and November – only 700 less than in 2011, the deadliest year on record so far, according to new statistics released late Friday.
The figures, released by the interior ministry, show that on average 80 people are being murdered every day in Mexico: a rate of 2,000 victims per month.
With December's figures yet to be included, it is almost certain that the number of people killed in 2017 will exceed those in 2011, the year the government's war against drug gangs peaked and homicides hit a record high.
The data show that the highest number of murders occurs in the Mexican state of Guerrero, followed closely by the states of Mexico and Baja California. In November alone, more than 2,500 homicides were committed.
Earlier this week, Mexican authorities found six bodies hanging from bridges in locations around Baja California Sur, in the northeast of the country.
Two victims were discovered near La Paz airport, while another four were found hanging from overpasses in Los Cabos. The victims' identities are still unknown, but police believe the deaths were gang-related.
Hundreds gathered in Mexico City Thursday to protest the recent approval of the Law of Internal Security, which will allow Mexican military forces to override municipal law enforcement to control riots, protests and crime across the country.
However, critics say this is likely to morph into greater police repression of social movements and human-rights groups.
Piñatas, a traditional Christmas decoration, were broken to demonstrate the potentially damaging effects the new law could have on society and the freedom of speech.
Protesters held meetings for two hours outside the Attorney General’s Office, Senate and the monument erected for the 43 Ayotzinapa students who disappeared in 2014, allegedly by police forces.
The interior ministry’s statistics also showed that more than 1,200 kidnappings have taken place between January and November. International organizations have denounced the rate of impunity that surrounds thousands of crimes around the nation, calling for the state to act and defend its citizens.
The year 2017 was recorded as the deadliest year for journalists in Mexico, according to freedom of press organizations, with 12 media workers killed across the country so far this year.