SKY NEWS 
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Gang-related murders have more than doubled in Mexico so far this year as powerful drug cartels battle for territory.
Organised crime killings rose by 117% to 5,376 in the first 11 months of 2008, compared to 2,477 in the same period last year.
The figures, announced by Mexico’s attorney general, were the first to provide a total number for drugs murders.
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The spike in “homicides related to organised crime” were tied to a falling out between members of the Sinaloa cartel, the most powerful in Mexico, according to Medina Mora.
And the attorney general predicted that the violence could get worse before things improve in 2009.
A wave of killings, massacres and beheadings started at the beginning of 2008, when the Beltran-Leyva gang split from the main wing of the cartel led by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.
The announcement of the jump in deaths comes days after the US released $197m, the first instalment of a $400m aid package to support Mexican police and soldiers in their fight against drug cartels.