Mexico City, Jul 30 (IANS/EFE): Mexican authorities documented 24,374 homicides in 2010, up 23 percent from the previous year and an increase of 145 percent compared with 2005.
The state of Chihuahua, which borders Texas, had 4,747 murders last year, a rate of 139 killings per every 100,000 inhabitants, the Inegi statistics agency said.
Next were Sinaloa, with 2,505 homicides, or 91 per 100,000; Mexico state, with 2,096, or 14 per 100,000; Guerrero, 1,629, or 48 murders for every 100,000 residents; and Baja California, where 1,539 people were slain, equating to 49 killings per 100,000 inhabitants.
Chihuahua saw murders soar more than 734 percent over the 2005-10 period, while Sinaloa experienced a 474 percent increase.
Both states are bastions of powerful drug cartels whose internecine struggles and conflicts with security forces have claimed more than 40,000 lives in Mexico since December 2006.
More than 15,000 of last year's murders nationwide were attributable to gangland violence, according to government figures.