A newspaper vendor holds local newspapers with front page stories about the death of Ignacio "Nacho" Coronel, a major Mexican drug trafficker,in Guadalajara City July 30, 2010. [Agencies]
MEXICO CITY - More than 28,000 people have been killed in drug violence since President Felipe Calderon launched a crackdown against cartels in 2006, a government official said Tuesday.
Intelligence agency director Guillermo Valdes also said authorities have confiscated about 84,000 weapons and made total cash seizures of $411 million in US currency and $26 million worth in pesos (330 million pesos).
Valdes released the statistics during a meeting with Calderon and representatives of business and civic groups. Attendees are exploring ways to improve Mexico's anti-drug strategy.
Drug violence in Mexico "is still growing," Valdes said.
The most recent official toll of the drug war dead came in mid-June, when the attorney general said 24,800 had died. He did not specify a time frame.
The government does not regularly break down murder statistics, but leading newspapers who kept their own counts say last month was the deadliest yet under Calderon: According to national daily Milenio, 1,234 were killed in July.
The Mexican government says most victims were involved in the drug trade.