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Mexico: Drug-related killings dropped 14 percent in first 4 months of new administration


A forensic worker covers the body of a woman who was shot dead by assailants, whose daughter was also killed, while she was selling coffee on a street corner in Acapulco, Mexico, Tuesday, April 9, 2013. Violence, kidnappings and extortions carried out by drug cartels continue to plague this Pacific resort city which has witnessed a large increase in violent crimes during the past years. (AP Photo/Bernandino Hernandez) (The Associated Press)

Mexico's government says drug-related killings from December through March dropped by 14 percent compared to the same period a year earlier.

The Interior Department says 4,249 people were killed during the first four months of President Enrique Pena Nieto's administration. It says 4,934 were killed between December 2011 and March 2012.

But Interior Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said Wednesday that "it's too early to assume victorious attitudes."

The government of President Felipe Calderon stopped releasing figures of drug killings in September 2011.

Osorio Chong said the federal government continued to keep a count.

Bloody clashes are still common in Mexico and there are times when it's impossible to know how many people died because drug traffickers take their dead away before authorities arrive.