MEXICO CITY, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- More than 12,000 people have died this year in Mexico's drug war and the number could be higher, officials said.
Through Nov. 30, 12,456 people were killed, making 2010 the deadliest year since Mexican President Felipe Calderon began a government crackdown against traffickers in 2006, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The death toll since the start of the drug war is nearly 30,200, said Mexican Attorney General Arturo Chavez. Other officials estimate the death toll at about 32,000.
In a recent survey, 59 percent of respondents said organized-crime groups are winning the drug war against federal forces; a different poll said 80 of the respondents believe there is more violence in Mexico than a year ago.
Thursday, more than 30 business and civic groups purchased full-page advertisements in newspapers pleading with authorities to bring the violence under control.
Chavez said there is "a lot of evidence" to suggest Nazario Moreno Gonzalez, alleged leader of the La Familia cartel, was killed in a skirmish with federal forces although no body was found.